UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein condemns the murder of a one-year-old baby with albinism in Tanzania.

Geneva February 19, The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has today condemned the murder of a one year old baby with albinism in Tanzania.

“I condemn the horrific murder and mutilation of Yohana Bahati, a one-year-old baby with albinism, in Northern Tanzania. On Sunday, Yohana was kidnapped from his home by five unidentified men armed with machetes and his mother was badly injured. His body was found on 17 February, with his arms and legs chopped off. Attacks against people with albinism, which are often motivated by the use of body parts for ritual purposes, have claimed the lives of at least 75 people in Tanzania since 2000 and seem to be on the rise, with at least three incidents over the past two months. Violence and discrimination against people with albinism must be halted. I call on the Tanzanian authorities to swiftly investigate and prosecute perpetrators of this terrible crime and to strengthen its protection measures for people with albinism, particularly in the lead up to general elections in the country.”

For more information, please contact Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org) or Ravina Shamdasani (+41 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org ) or Cécile Pouilly (+41 22 917 9310 / cpouilly@ohchr.org).

Inviting applications for funding of travel and accommodation for the CSTD 18th session

Geneva February 19 The Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) has funds available to support the travel and accommodation of selected NGO representatives from developing and least developed countries (LDCs) to the 18th session of the CSTD, which will take place from 4 to 8 May 2015.

We welcome applications from representatives of NGOs that are in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) or that have received accreditation to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

To apply, please fill out the application form online (http://unctad.org/en/pages/MeetingDetails.aspx?meetingid=606) and return it by e-mail to the CSTD secretariat (stdev@unctad.org) no later than 10 March 2015.

N.B.: Only one application per NGO will be considered.

Candidates will be selected based on experience relevant to the issues discussed at the 18th session of the CSTD and proven record of active participation in past CSTD meetings. Geographical balance and overall balance in the groups represented by the NGOs will also be taken into account. Preference will be given to representatives of NGOs based in LDCs.

Additional information:

The Commission will address two priority themes, namely

Strategic foresight for the post-2015 development agenda
Digital development

The session will include a substantive 10-year review of the progress made in the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

In addition, the Commission will hear presentations on national science, technology and innovation policy reviews.

The participants will include representatives of Governments, civil society, the private sector and international organizations.

The session will open at 10 a.m. on Monday, 4 May 2015.

Kindly be informed that the application form for funding of travel and accommodation of NGOs attending the CSTD 18th annual session is available on the annual session webpage.


The deadline for application is 10th March 2015. Please circulate it among relevant NGOs, as appropriate.

Syrian Crisis -The United Nations Response

A Weekly Update from the UN Department of Public Information No. 82/

New York 18 February 2015, UN envoy sees ‘glimmer of hope’ as Syria indicates willingness to ‘freeze’ Aleppo fighting. Speaking to reporters after briefing the Security Council on 17 February, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said that he sees a “glimmer of hope” for his “freeze” proposal in Aleppo. He stated that the “Government of Syria has indicated to me its willingness to halt all aerial bombing in addition to artillery shelling for a period of six weeks all over the city of Aleppo as of a date that we will be announcing in Damascus,” adding that his office will also engage with the opposition hoping to get a similar response. He stressed that the main duty is to protect civilians while working on a political solution. “We will pursue the political process which [consultations in] Cairo and Moscow have generated and built on it with a UN initiative,” he explained.



UNICEF: Syria Crisis 2014 annual situation report
In an annual report on Syria released on 15 February, UNICEF said that it vaccinated around 25 million Syrian children against polio; with partners, it treated water networks that reached 16.5 million people inside Syria and provided safe drinking water to refugees in camps in the region; it supplied 2,842,636 children with school materials as part of the 2014/15 school year “Back to Learning” campaign; it offered psycho-social support to around 300,000 children in Syria, and around 645,000 in neighbouring countries; it also distributed winter clothing and blankets to 400,000 children inside Syria and provided cash, vouchers and winter supplies to 565,000 children in countries around the region.



Security Council approves resolution targeting sources of financing for ISIL
The United Nations Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, unanimously adopted on 12 February a resolution approving measures to target sources of funding for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Nusrah Front (ANF), condemning those buying oil from the groups, banning all trade in looted antiquities from Iraq and Syria, and calling on States to end ransom payments.
The Director-General of UNESCO welcomed the adoption of the resolution, saying that it is a “milestone for enhanced protection of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria.” She also added, “The protection of the cultural heritage of Syria and Iraq has strategic implications – it is fundamental for the identity and social cohesion of all Iraqis and Syrians and it is a precondition for future reconciliation and recovery.”




On International Day, UN demands end to use of child soldiers in conflict
In a joint press release, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, marking the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers on 12 February, called for urgent action to end violations against children. “UNICEF and the Office of the Special Representative call for urgent action to end grave violations against children including their recruitment and use by armed groups. Parties to conflicts must meet their obligations under International Law,” the press release said. Tens of thousands of children, boys and girls in over 20 countries around the world, are associated with armed forces and armed groups. Among those are children in Iraq and Syria where “the advances by ISIL and the proliferation of armed groups have made children even more vulnerable to recruitment. Children as young as 12 are undergoing military training and have been used as informants, to patrol, to man checkpoints and to guard strategic locations. In some cases, they have been used as suicide bombers and to carry out executions,” it added.



UNRWA delivers food assistance to Neirab, assesses damage in Husseiniyeh
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) delivered food assistance to 22,000 Palestine refugees in Neirab camp, 13km south-east of Aleppo, whose population has been exposed to hardship and deprivation due to interrupted access during 2013.
The purchase of food and household items was provided to UNRWA by the Emergency Response Fund (ERF) administered by the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Also, UNRWA entered on 9 February Husseiniyeh camp, 12 kilometers south-east of Damascus, in order to assess the damage to its installations resulted from armed confrontation. Installations that need repair include four schools, a health centre, social services offices, a woman’s programme centre, youth and distribution centres, electricity, water and sanitation networks, as well as many civilian damaged homes.



Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria

DPI Focus Page on Syria:


UN humanitarian agencies :
UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/media/index.html
WFP: http://www.wfp.org/countries/syria
OCHA: http:/unocha.org/syria , twitter.com/ocha_syria , facebook.com/UNOCHA.Syria
WHO: http://www.who.int/countries/syr/en/
UNHCR: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/4f86c2426.html
OHCHR: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/NewsSearch.aspx?CID=SY
UNRWA: http://www.unrwa.org/

UN on social media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UN
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/un_photo/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/unitednations
Tumblr: http://united-nations.tumblr.com/

Photo galleries:
UNHCR: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c25d.html
UNRWA: http://www.unrwa.org/photogallery.php
OCHA: http://www.unocha.org/media-resources/photo-gallery
UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/photography/photo_2013.php#UNI82253
IRIN: http://www.irinnews.org/photo/


New York February 18 We met five months ago when the world was coming to terms with an unprecedented outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.

The outbreak was gaining ground every hour, outpacing response efforts.

You recognized the grave threat that Ebola posed to the region and beyond. You welcomed the deployment of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response – UNMEER: the first of its kind in the history of the United Nations.

Local, national, regional and international capacities mobilized in solidarity with the affected communities and countries to support nationally-led response efforts.

With the leadership of Presidents Condé, Koroma and Sirleaf Johnson, national governments and communities took proactive steps to protect themselves, leading to reduced risks of infection and lower incidence rates.

Today, we face a critical turning point.

The pattern of the Ebola outbreak has changed.

2015 has seen a significant decline in the number of new Ebola cases in the three affected countries.

Liberia, once the worst affected country with several hundred cases per week, has been steadily reporting fewer than five cases per week for the past month, all isolated to a single chain of transmission in one county.

While overall figures remain much lower than what we saw in 2014, incidence rates rose again in Guinea and Sierra Leone in recent weeks. More than half of those newly infected have not been in contact with people known to have had Ebola. This reminds us that setbacks can quickly follow apparent gains, and highlights the need for constant vigilance and active surveillance, even in unaffected areas.

Notre action va être compliquée par la saison des pluies, imminente, durant laquelle d’autres maladies vont gagner du terrain et certaines routes vont devenir impraticables. En vue d’une meilleure maîtrise de la situation, le système des Nations Unies, agissant par l’intermédiaire de la MINUAUCE, mobilise des moyens supplémentaires pour aider les autorités nationales et locales de la Guinée et de la Sierra Leone.

Nous redoublons d’efforts pour atteindre l’objectif fixé par les présidents des pays de l’Union du fleuve Mano le 15 février dernier : l’absence totale de nouveaux cas entre cette date et la mi-avril, soit pendant 60 jours.

Avec une action vigoureuse et efficace, nous pouvons juguler l’épidémie d’Ebola.

Mais si les populations, les gouvernements et les partenaires relâchent leur vigilance, recourent à des pratiques dangereuses et ne mènent pas une surveillance active, et si les donateurs décident de ne pas financer cet effort vital, il y aura de nouvelles flambées et l’épidémie pourrait reprendre de plus belle.

Too much progress has been made and too much is at stake to afford complacency. We must finish the job.

Our collective efforts have made remarkable progress. We have succeeded in averting the worst-case scenarios we feared.

There are encouraging signs that the worst of the outbreak is behind us.

But much important work lies ahead until the affected countries reach zero cases and begin the transition to reconstruction and recovery.

I call on all responders to redouble their efforts, and on donors to stay the course.

Under the technical leadership of the World Health Organization, the UN system will continue supporting efforts to get to zero through active surveillance, case management and community engagement. The UN system will also contribute to the safe revival of essential services.

As the situation improves, the time will come for critical functions to transition progressively and seamlessly from UNMEER to the UN agencies, funds and programmes.

Significant additional resources will be required by the UN system.

My Special Envoy, Dr. Nabarro, will continue to mobilize the resources needed to fill critical gaps, including through my Trust Fund.

The UN system will work with national governments and regional partners to ensure that the investments made in the fight to stop Ebola serve as a basis for longer-term recovery efforts.

We must help the affected countries to become more resilient. Ebola must not be allowed to take hold again in the region.

I appeal to you today to stay engaged and sustain this crucially important work.

Let us provide the resources needed to get to zero.

Let us ensure that reconstruction and recovery can occur without delay.

Let us translate the lessons from this collective effort into building stronger national systems for health security.

And lastly, I would like to thank all Member States for your strong support for UNMEER, led by Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and his team who have been working very hard, selflessly, under very difficult and dangerous situations. And I also highly commend Dr. David Nabarro, the Special Envoy, for his continuing support and vision to help our efforts to get to zero cases and eliminate Ebola. I count on your continued support and leadership. Thank you very much. Merci.

UN Tanzania Chief Condemns Abduction and Murder of Child with Albinism

18 February 2015

Public Statement by Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative

1. Over the last two months, Tanzania has witnessed two abductions of young children in the Lake Zone. In December, the abduction of a child with albinism, Pendo, left the country in shock. Despite the government’s efforts, Pendo has not been found. Now we have just witnessed the abduction and murder of a one year old, Yohana Bahati, which happened in Chato District in Geita Region on February 15.

2. The UN is deeply concerned by the abductions and brutal attacks on these two young children. These attacks, which are often motivated by the use of body parts for ritual purposes, have claimed the lives of at least 74people with albinism in Tanzania since 2000. These attacks are accompanied by a high degree of impunity, and while Tanzania has made efforts to combat the problem, much more must be done to put an end to these heinous crimes and to protect this vulnerable segment of the population.

3. No violence against people with albinism is justifiable. All violence can be prevented. Attacks against people with albinism can never be justified – not by culture, tradition or religion.

4. This is a year of elections in Tanzania and, as some analysts have suggested, it could be a dangerous year for people living with albinism. We commend the government for its efforts and the support it has provided the regions impacted by these abductions and we encourage national and regional authorities to enhance their efforts to ensure the protection of human rights and full adherence to the rule of law. We wish for 2015 to be a year where all Tanzanians see their rights respect, including those with albinism.

5. I have been in contact with the Regional Commissioner in Geita, Ms. Fatma Mwassa, who is very concerned with this recent abduction and has assured me that her administration is fully committed to addressing this abduction despite the many challenges involved.

6. Today I have also met with the Tanzania Albinism Society (TAS) and they indicated that their main concern this year is to end violence against people with albinism (PWA). They are calling for more protection of PWAs especially this year when elections will be held in Tanzania and neighbouring countries. Under The Same Sun (UTSS) National Coordinator, Ms. Vicky Ntetema, also discussed with me her concerns and fears for 2015. People with Albinism deserve the same rights as all Tanzanian citizens.

7. 2015 is a year in which Tanzanias will elect new leaders and vote on a proposed new Constitution; it is also a year where all the citizens of the country should feel respected and that their human rights are protected.


Note to Editors: The body of baby Yohana Bahati (1) with albinism who was abducted on Sunday February 15, 2015 has been found mutilated in Shilabela Mapinduzi Sub-Village a few kilometers from his home in Ilelema Village. Police found the body in Biharamulo Forest Reserve on February 17, 2015 at around 1500hrs / 03:00pm East African Time with his arms and legs hacked off.

His mother, Ester Jonas (30) is still seriously sick in Bugando Referral Hospital in Mwanza City. Doctors operated on her machete lacerations on her face and other parts of her body sustained while trying in vain to protect her baby boy, Yohana from the assailants.

Yohana’s sister Tabu bahati (3) is still under police protection. Their elder sibling with albinism Shida Bahati (12) was away from home during the attack. She is being comforted by relatives in another village.

No arrests have been made. Police search continues. His father is still being held in remand prison.

Source: UTSS-Vicky Ntetema

For more information please contact:

Hoyce Temu – UN Communications Specialist-0682-262627

Syrian Crisis United Nations Response

A Weekly Update from the UN Department of Public Information No. 81/11 February 2015

Special Envoy de Mistura meets with Syrian President to press for political solution
Wrapping up a two-day visit to Damascus on 11 February, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, told reporters that his discussions with Syrian authorities and President Bashar al-Assad had focused on reducing violence and increasing unimpeded access of humanitarian aid to all Syrians in need. “The heart of my mission is to try and facilitate any political process that can lead to a political solution to a conflict which has lasted too long and which has no military solution. I have also discussed, as you can imagine, the issue of the United Nations proposal for a freeze to reach a reduction of the violence in the city of Aleppo”, he noted. The Special Envoy added that he will report on the content of his discussions to the Security Council on 17 February.



Secretary-General welcomes international engagement towards a political solution
During a visit to Saudi Arabia to pay tribute to the legacy of late King Adbullah Bin Abdulaziz As-Saud, the Secretary-General voiced concerns about the appalling crimes that continue to be committed in Syria by all sides. In a meeting with King Salman Abdulaziz on 8 February, he stressed that recent peace talks held in Cairo and Moscow underscored the need for a political solution to the conflict based on the Geneva Communiqué. “I welcome the international re-engagement for a political solution. I also welcome Saudi Arabia’s proposal for a follow-up meeting,” the Secretary-General said. “A solution to the crisis will only be found through political negotiations. At the same time, we must urgently do more for the many people who are suffering”, he added.



WFP delivered food to 30,000 Syrian refugees in camps in Jordan thanks to UAE funding
On 11 February, the UN World Food Programme thanked the UAE’s International Humanitarian City (IHC) for its US$ 1 million contribution that helped WFP feed 30,000 Syrian refugees living in Jordan during the month of January as they faced a severe snow storm.
“This contribution was channeled to vulnerable Syrian refugees through the WFP voucher system providing vital food assistance and saving their lives. It was also a very timely response from the IHC as our funding had reached critical levels, but fortunately the voucher system meant we could immediately channel the money to refugees in need,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP’s Emergency Coordinator for Syria.
In 2015, WFP is providing monthly food assistance to more than 7 million Syrians in need – 4.5 million in Syria and about 2.6 million in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. The agency requires immediately a total of US$ 215 million to support operations in Syria and the five neighbouring countries during the upcoming months.


UNESCO: introducing youth in Syria and Lebanon to successful volunteerism

To build capacities of youth organizations in managing young volunteers, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Office in Beirut held a training workshop from 5 to 8 February which brought together 24 members of youth associations in Syria and Lebanon.
“UNESCO’s work on youth and with youth are both policy and service delivery levels” said Seiko Sugita, Programme Specialist in UNESCO. “Youth volunteerism, properly managed and empowered can help the society to explore and apply innovative approaches to social justice and social cohesion”, she added.


UN Twitter account:

Search for Syria? What do you see? Watch & share this short film from @SwedenforUNHCR http://j.mp/18KapZu via @Refugees
– 8 Feb 2015

UN Radio in Arabic:

De Mistura discussing in Damascus proposal to freeze the conflict in Aleppo


Prince Charles met with Syrian refugees in Jordan’s Zaatari camp


Syria and Yemen, the most important topics discussed by Ban Ki-moon with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz


Commissioner for Human Rights expresses anger and disgust at the actions Takfirists


Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria

DPI Focus Page on Syria:


UN humanitarian agencies :
UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/media/index.html
WFP: http://www.wfp.org/countries/syria
OCHA: http:/unocha.org/syria , twitter.com/ocha_syria , facebook.com/UNOCHA.Syria
WHO: http://www.who.int/countries/syr/en/
UNHCR: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/4f86c2426.html
OHCHR: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/NewsSearch.aspx?CID=SY
UNRWA: http://www.unrwa.org/

UN on social media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UN
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/un_photo/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/unitednations
Tumblr: http://united-nations.tumblr.com/

Photo galleries:
UNHCR: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c25d.html
UNRWA: http://www.unrwa.org/photogallery.php
OCHA: http://www.unocha.org/media-resources/photo-gallery
UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/photography/photo_2013.php#UNI82253
IRIN: http://www.irinnews.org/photo/

Holocaust remembrance day commemorated in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam January 27, 2015 The UN Information Centre in Dar es Salaam (UNIC Dar es Salaam), organized a half day learning session with students from nine secondary schools and three universities to mark the International Day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, on 27th January 2015. The event was held at the Russian Culture Centre Hall and was graced by the German Ambassador to Tanzania H.E. Ego, Kochanke and Russia embassy Third Secretary Mr. Denis Kustov.

The programme of the day included, exhibition on the liberation of Aushwitz Birkenau and survivors testimony; readout of the UN Secretary- General message of the Day by UNIC’s Information Officer Stella Vuzo, Message from Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, by Ambassador Kochanke, video show on the 10th anniversary of the UN Holocaust Outreach programme and questions and discussions on the lesson learnt from the holocaust.
Students from the following secondary schools attended the events: Chang’ombe, Kibasila, Kisutu, Al Muntazir, Mzizima, Azania, Zanaki, Benjamin Mkapa and Jangwani. Also students from the following universities attended; Centre For Foreign Relations (CFR), St John’s, and University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM).

Ambassador Konchake shared his personal experience on the holocaust and what his country is doing in spreading holocaust education. His discussion was very informative and he welcomed schools and universities that would want to learn more about the subject to invite his embassy officials for detailed discussions.

An exhibition on the holocaust was translated in Kiswahili and displayed in the hall full time for viewing. Participating students were also given key holders branded with UN holocaust Outreach programme 10th anniversary logo as a way of continuing to spread the holocaust education among the general Public. The media were also present and key messages were shared with both print and electronic media houses.