A look back at some of the noteworthy news developments that took place over the past two weeks in the UN system

Photo: Aisha Faquir/World Bank
20 Feb, 2017
Learning languages is a promise of peace, innovation and creativity, and will contribute to the achievement of global development goals, the head of the United Nations agency for culture and education has said, marking International Mother Language Day. “There can be no authentic dialogue or effective international cooperation without respect for linguistic diversity, which opens up true understanding of every culture,” said UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova in her message on the Day.
Photo: ITU
23 Feb, 2017
A working group of the United Nations agency which coordinates telecommunication operations and services throughout the world completed today a cycle of studies on the key performance requirements of the next generation mobile networks (5G technology) for the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT)-2020 systems.
Photo: UNICEF/Romenzi
28 Feb, 2017
A senior United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) official is calling the routes from sub-Saharan Africa into Libya and across the sea to Europe one of the “world’s deadliest and most dangerous for children and women,” as the agency reported that nearly half of the women and children interviewed after making the voyage were raped.
UN News Photo
26 Feb, 2017
Disregard for human rights is a “disease,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today told the opening session of the UN Human Rights Council, urging Member States to uphold the rights of all people in the face of rising populism and extremism.
Photo: WFP/Marco Frattini
24 Feb, 2017
Giving voice to people affected by conflict and crises in Africa’s Lake Chad Basin, a global United Nations-supported humanitarian conference in Oslo today generated more than $670 million in pledges that will help sustain critical relief operations over the next two years and beyond across four counties where millions are in need of aid.
UN Photo
22 Feb, 2017
U Thant, the third Secretary-General of the United Nations, was a devout Buddhist, a very private man who suddenly found himself in one of the most public and exposed jobs in the world. When Dag Hammarskjöld died in an air crash in Africa in September 1961, U Thant was designated by the Security Council to complete his term as Secretary-General.
Photo: IFAD/Sanjit Das/Panos
22 Feb, 2017
Warning that diminishing natural resources and a changing climate have put humankind’s future ability to feed itself “in jeopardy,” the United Nations underlined today that while the planet still has the potential to produce enough food, “major transformations” are needed to make production sustainable and to ensure that all of humanity benefits.
UN Photo/Victoria Hazou
17 Feb, 2017
Despite progress in the realization of children’s rights, as set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which entered into force on 2 September 1990, too many commitments remain unfulfilled. This is particularly true for children deprived of liberty, who often remain invisible and forgotten.
Photo: UNEP
23 Feb, 2017
Launching an unprecedented global campaign, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is urging everyone to eliminate the use of microplastics and stop the excessive, wasteful use of single-use plastic, to save the world’s seas and oceans from irreversible damage before it’s too late.
Photo: OCHA/Romenzi
28 Feb, 2017
The battle late last year for control over Syria’s war-ravaged Aleppo was a stage of unrelenting violence, with civilians on both sides falling victim to war crimes committed by all parties, read a report issued today by the United Nations-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
28 Feb, 2017
Delivering her first address as the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed underlined that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are essential for a safe and secure future that brings prosperity, opportunity and human rights for all.
Photo: Daniel Gerstle/IRIN
16 Feb, 2017
Lack of laws, capacity and professional experience to effectively investigate and prosecute conflict-related sexual violence in Ukraine is not only resulting in widespread impunity, it is causing survivors of sexual violence to be "victimized twice", according to a new United Nations human rights report.
Photo: WHO/S. Ramo
01 Mar, 2017
The United Nations health agency stressed the critical need for research and development of new antibiotics to tackle the threat of drug-resistant tuberculosis.
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
21 Feb, 2017
Noting that recent crises in Europe show that the continent remains at risk from new outbreaks of conflict, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for reinforcing mutual trust and respect to strengthen stability and cooperation both within Europe and beyond.
Photo: IRIN/Sean Kimmons
02 Mar, 2017
Governments are being urged to provide more funding to prevent and treat drug abuse among women. The appeal has been made by the International Narcotics Board (INCB) which is also calling for more gender-sensitive drug policies and programmes, as well as better access to health care for drug-dependent women.
UN Photo/Staton Winter
01 Mar, 2017
The United Nations agency leading the world's HIV/AIDS response is urging everyone to 'make some noise' for zero discrimination in healthcare settings.
Photo: photothek/Ina Fassbender
28 Feb, 2017
Policy makers, activists and private sector representatives from over 80 countries will join gaming experts and simulators tomorrow in Bonn, Germany, at the start of the first “playable” sustainable development conference organized by the United Nations and partners.

2 March 2017