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Twenty-five years after UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali opened the doors for the CSOs and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to contribute to the success of the Earth Summit in June 1992 that stressed the inexorable link between environment and development, the CSOs have successfully exercised their 'soft power' to help usher in a world free of nuclear weapons.

The US permanent Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, visited Turkey and Jordan to see the humanitarian challenges both countries face and to hear possible solutions for the humanitarian situation in war-torn Syria. [...] Earlier on Tuesday, Haley visited a UNICEF treatment facility that was providing emotional support to refugee children from Syria. “Today we visited a health center that trains Syrian doctors and nurses to practice medicine in Turkey, helping their fellow refugees.” Haley wrote on Twitter.

President Donald Trump's U.N. ambassador called Monday for the U.N. and aid agencies to shift focus in how they support Syrians in need by boosting support for roads, schools and hospitals in neighboring countries that have been overwhelmed by millions of refugees. Speaking in Jordan, host to some 660,000 Syrian refugees, Nikki Haley argued that lack of coordination among aid agencies has led duplicated efforts and inefficiencies after seven years of civil war in the Arab country.

The U.N. refugee agency on Thursday chose as a goodwill ambassador a Syrian teenage girl who helped save a boat carrying fellow refugees and later became an Olympic swimmer. Yusra Mardini joined other notables like actress Cate Blanchett and author Khaled Hosseini in the unpaid advocacy role. UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said Mardini "represents the hopes, the fears and the incredible potential of the more than 10 million young refugees around the globe."

Nigeria’s northeast is facing a tightening hunger gap, say aid organisations, pointing to two years of missed crop harvests in what was once a breadbasket for the country, and the high likelihood of missing a third. [...] The UN says it needs $1.5 billion (€1.4 billion) in humanitarian aid this year for the Lake Chad region – which spreads across parts of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad – and $457 million had been pledged for 2017 by late February.

Underlining the importance of sustainable finance for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, senior United Nations officials today called for stronger partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders to ensure that resource requirements are met. In her opening remarks at the high-level event, SDG Financing Lab – How to finance the SDGs, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed recalled the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which was adopted in 2015 at the UN Third International Conference on Financing for Development.

Bosnia Cello, by Mikhail Evstafiev
March 21, 2017

A new book looks at TV and film adaptations of the 1992-1995 Bosnian War.

See how to help save the planet through the UN Sustainable Development Goals 

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