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Sustainable Future Symposium; ICT for Development; IAEA/Iran; Global Financial Transaction Tax; and more

Partnerships and development cooperation among countries will play a key role in accelerating sustainable development, the Secretary-General of the UN Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20), Sha Zukang said today, stressing that assistance will need to focus on helping developing countries find longer-term solutions to eradicate poverty and transition into a green economy.The two-day Australia High-Level Symposium, “Shaping a Sustainable Future – Partners in Development Cooperation,” which began today, seeks to facilitate an informal dialogue on development cooperation among high-level policymakers, multilateral and civil society organizations, philanthropic foundations and the private sector.

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DR Congo; South Sudan; UNHCR and OIC; and more

Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonovic, today voiced concern over the human rights situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which has experienced a recent upsurge in violence. Mr. Šimonovic said he was “appalled” by the heightened levels of recent violence triggered by defections in the Congolese armed forces, including former members of certain militia groups, and welcomed joint efforts between the peacekeepers of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), humanitarian actors and the authorities to protect civilians and respond to human rights violations.

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Asia-Pacific Human Development Report; Syria; Horn of Africa; UNRWA

Countries in the Asia-Pacific region must find ways to continue to grow economically and lift millions out of poverty while also responding to climate change and environmental concerns, according to UN report released today, which stresses that new methods of production are needed to meet this goal.UNDP’s Asia-Pacific Human Development Report 2012 argues that policies and actions in the region will have a global impact as it is home to more than half of the world’s population and half of the planet’s megacities.

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SG on Rio/Post-2015 Development; Syria; Middle East; Global Fund; and more

Appealing for flexibility in reaching agreement on a final outcome document, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today, emphasized the need for Member States to agree on launching a process to establish Sustainable Development Goals ahead of the Rio+20 conference while also announcing the appointment of three co-chairs to his High-Level Panel on Post-2015 Development Planning. We should agree on launching a process to establish Sustainable Development Goals that build on the Millennium Development Goals … find better ways to measure progress that goes beyond Gross Domestic Product …and advance action to improve people’s lives through decent work, social protection and the empowerment of women and young people,” the UN chief said in his address to the UN General Assembly.

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Syria; Guinea-Bissau; UNAIDS; Afghanistan; and more

Amid concerns from the international community over the prospects of a “full civil war” in Syria, the Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, said today that the ongoing levels of violence and human rights abuses in the Middle Eastern country are unacceptable and the UN observer mission is possibly the only remaining chance to stabilize it.

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Peacebuilding; South Sudan; Indigenous Issues; Rwanda

The United Nations is determined to do everything possible to assist societies torn by war from sliding back into conflict, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told an audience in the United States capital today, adding that while there have been setbacks, peacebuilding remains a crucial element of the world body’s efforts.In a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D. C., Mr. Ban highlighted the work of the UN’s 16 peacekeeping operations and 15 political missions in the area of peacebuilding – a core mandate of the Organization.

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