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UN deputy chief calls for hydro-diplomacy as world faces growing water shortages -
UNITED NATIONS, Mar 30 (APP): The international community must gear up for a new era of hydro-diplomacy as the threat of water scarcity risks plunging the world into a period of geopolitical tension and stunted development, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told delegates gathered at the General Assembly Monday.


UNESCO launches social media campaign in Baghdad aimed at protecting cultural heritage -
UNITED NATIONS, Mar 30 (APP):  The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, Monday launched at Baghdad University #Unite4Heritage, a social media campaign to support Iraqi youth and to mobilize young people worldwide for the protection of cultural heritage.


UN dims lights to focus attention on climate change -
UNITED NATIONS, Mar 29 (APP): The United Nations went dark later Saturday evening as the Organization shuts off the lights at its iconic Headquarters complex in New York and other facilities around the world in observance of ‘Earth Hour,’ an annual global event raising awareness about the need to take action on climate change and promoting sustainable energy consumption.


Pakistan renew its commitment to UN peacekeeping at first-ever defence chiefs conference -
UNITED NATIONS, Mar 28 (APP): Pakistan has renewed its commitment to the “noble cause” of United Nations peacekeeping, the world body’s flagship activity that helps countries torn by conflict to create the conditions for lasting peace.


At UN, Pakistan urges action to end violence against religious, ethnic minorities in Mideast -
UNITED NATIONS, Mar 28 (APP):  Pakistan Friday called for U.N. Security Council action to end the religiously and ethnically-motivated violence sweeping the Middle East by promoting a global consensus for resolving the challenges confronting Iraq, Syria, Yemen and “most importantly” Palestine.


Sport News
Sindh, Army reach Netball final
ISLAMABAD March 30 (APP): Sindh and Army will face each other in the final of 14th National Women Netball Championship to be played here at Hamidi Hall on Tuesday.
 
Army, Air force qualify for National Basketball Championship'2015 Final
WAH CANTT, Mar 30 (APP): Army, Air force qualified for National Basketball Championship'2015 final beside beating their rivals in semi finals played here at POF Sports Complex on Monday.
 
Starc named as player of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
From Ehsan Qurshi
 
MELBOURNE, March 29 (APP): Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc was Monday named as the player of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
 
Border express sympathy for no International cricket in Pakistan

From Ehsan Qureshi

MELBOURNE, March 29 (APP): Former Australian skipper Alan Border has expressed his sympathy that international  cricket is not being staged in Pakistan.

 
Australia grabs 5th Cricket World Cup crown with an emphatic victory over New Zealand

From Ehsan Qureshi

MELBOURNE, March 29 (APP): Australia regained the Cricket World Cup crown on Sunday when they routed their Trans Transman neighbors New Zealand by seven wickets in the day/night final here at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for their overall fifth title.

 
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Top UN official urges avoidance of civilian casualties in Syrian fighting PDF Print E-mail
UNITED NATIONS, July 30 (APP): Amidst reports of heavy fighting in the city of Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria, the UN top humanitarian official Monday urged all parties in the Middle Eastern country to avoid civilian casualties and allow humanitarian access to people caught up in the violence. “I am extremely concerned by the impact of shelling and use of tanks and other heavy weapons on people in Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city, as well as in the capital Damascus and surrounding towns,” the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, said in a statement.

“I call on all parties to the fighting to ensure that they do not target civilians and that they allow humanitarian organizations safe  access to bring urgent and life-saving help to people caught up in the fighting,’ she added.
According to media reports, Aleppo has been the centre of intense combat between Government and opposition forces over recent days. Syria has been wracked by violence, with more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began some 16 months ago.
In addition to Aleppo, there have been reports of an escalation in violence in many towns and villages, as well as Damascus. In her statement,  Amos noted that the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent estimate that some 200,000 people have fled fighting in Aleppo and surrounding areas over the last two days.
“It is not known how many people remain trapped in places where fighting continues today,” Amos said.
“Many people have sought temporary shelter in schools and other public buildings in safer areas. They urgently need food, mattresses and blankets, hygiene supplies and drinking water.”
The humanitarian official said the security situation in  cities and along main transport routes has made it difficult for humanitarian agencies to reach displaced families in Aleppo, Hama and other areas.
“Despite the very dangerous situation, the Red Crescent, UN agencies and partners have continued to deliver food, blankets and hygiene kits whenever and wherever they can, and are dispatching thousands more items”  Amos said.
Also over the weekend, the Joint Special Envoy for the UN and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Kofi Annan, expressed his concern over reports of the concentration of troops and heavy weapons around Aleppo.
“I remind the parties to the conflict of their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law, and urge them to exercise restraint and avoid any further bloodshed,” Annan said in a statement.
“I believe that the escalation of the military build-up in Aleppo and the surrounding area is further evidence of the need for the international community to come together to persuade the parties that only a political transition, leading to a political settlement will resolve this crisis and bring peace to the Syrian people,” he added.
On Friday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Navi Pillay, expressed ‘deep alarm’ over the increased threat to civilians in Syria, and urged the country’s Government and armed opposition to protect civilians and abide by their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law or face the consequences.
“Civilians and civilian objects including homes and other  property, businesses, schools and places of worship ‘must be protected  at all times’. All parties, including the Government and opposition  forces, must ensure that they distinguish between civilian and military targets,” she added, while expressing particular concern about the likelihood of a major confrontation in Aleppo.
 

 

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