UN News in Brief – 13 June 2016

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses journalists at UN Headquarters. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras
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  • UN chief condemns “abhorrent” air strike in Syria

    A deadly weekend air strike in Idlib city, Syria, has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General.

    Ban Ki-moon said the “abhorrent attack” on Sunday hit a vegetable market and the area’s only bakery.

    Stéphane Dujarric is Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General

    “The apparent air strike took place while a ceasefire stipulated in the Four Towns Agreement, which covers Idlib city, had reportedly been restored over the weekend. Local sources reported that the attack left dozens of civilians, including women and children, dead or wounded.”

    The UN chief extended his “deepest condolences” to the families of people killed in the incident.

    He also called on all those responsible for attacks on civilians to be held accountable.

    More than 1.19 million refugees will need to be resettled in 2017

    The number of refugees worldwide who will need to be resettled in a third country will surpass 1.19 million next year.

    The projection comes in a report published on Monday by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

    Syrians are expected to account for 40 per cent of those who will need to be resettled, followed by citizens from Sudan, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    The agency says despite the increase in resettlement quotas from countries, “the gap in terms of needs remains great.”

    UNHCR expects to submit 170,000 refugees for resettlement in 2017.

    This is up from the current figure of 143,000.

    Mauritius: farmers fight fruit flies with insect “birth control”

    A type of “birth control” for insects will help Mauritius in its fight against fruit flies which reportedly are causing major economic losses to farmers there.

    That’s according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which has partially funded a newly inaugurated machine in the island nation that uses nuclear technology to suppress insect populations.

    The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) will help guarantee produce quality while reducing pesticide use, the agency says.

    Insects are mass-reared in special facilities, made sterile through irradiation and then released in the field with the ultimate goal of significantly reducing their populations.

    The machine will allow Mauritius to produce and release up to one million sterile flies each week, up from 400,000.

    Dianne Penn, United Nations.

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