UN official expresses concern over situation in Syria’s Idlib region

UNITED NATIONS, May 17 (APP): A senior United Nations humanitarian official has condemned attacks on civilians and health facilities in Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone.

Speaking at a news conference in Geneva on Thursday after a meeting of an international Humanitarian Task Force (HTF) for Syria, UN Senior Humanitarian Advisor Najat Rochdi said at least 100 civilians lost their lives or were injured in recent attacks in the northwestern Idlib province.

Global trade tensions a setback on sustainable development: UN chief

GENEVA, May 10 (Xinhua): Current global tensions are a major setback for sustainable development, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres said at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday.

"Significant obstacles have emerged in our efforts to harness the positive force of globalization for sustainable development," said Guterres in a historic address before the WTO's General Council.

180 countries — except US — agree to plastic waste agreement

11 May 2019; DW: After 12 days of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations, countries have agreed to treat plastic as hazardous waste. Germany is considering a ban that would go even further.

Almost every country in the world, except the United States, agreed to a deal on Friday that would sharply reduce the amount of plastic being washed into the world's oceans.

Almost half World Heritage sites could lose glaciers by 2100

GENEVA, May 1 (Xinhua): Glaciers are set to disappear entirely from nearly half of World Heritage sites if current emissions continue, the first global study of glaciers at those locations said Wednesday.

Co-authored by scientists from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Gland near Geneva, the study is published in full in the journal Earth's Future.

The authors predict glacier extinction by 2100 under a high emission scenario in 21 of the 46 natural World Heritage sites where glaciers are currently found.

Don't expose babies to electronic screens, says WHO

25 Apr 2019; DW: Children under 12 months old should not be exposed to electronic screens at all, according to the World Health Organization. Parents were urged to ensure kids get enough exercise to encourage good habits later in life.

Infants less than a year old should not be exposed to electronic screens, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

BRI crucial for generations to come: President of Swiss Confederation

BERN, Switzerland, April 21 (Xinhua) -- China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a fundamental task crucial for generations to come, which, when implemented smoothly, will bring many benefits to both the economic development and the well-being of the people worldwide, President Ueli Maurer of the Swiss Confederation has said.

In a joint interview with Chinese media, Maurer said BRI has created a new dimension for the development of world economy, which as such a long-term strategic plan is rarely seen so far.

UN says Congo’s Ebola outbreak not yet a global emergency

GENEVA (AP) — The ongoing Ebola outbreak in Congo does not yet warrant being declared a global emergency but is of “deep concern,” the World Health Organization said Friday.

Following a meeting of its expert committee, the U.N. health agency called for efforts to be redoubled to stop the deadly virus, noting that the recent spike in Ebola cases raises the risk of spread to other countries.

Switzerland signs agreement to represent U.S. interests in Venezuela

GENEVA, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Switzerland said Friday that it had signed an agreement to represent the interests of the United States in Venezuela, under a "good offices" accord between the two countries.

The Federal Council, Switzerland's cabinet, said in a statement that the agreement was signed in Bern on Friday by foreign minister Ignazio Cassis and the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland Edward McMullen.

The arrangement needs Venezuela's approval before coming into effect, said the Federal Council statement.

WTO chief says ease trade tensions to improve global economy

GENEVA, April 3 (Xinhua) -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo on Tuesday stressed the urgency of resolving trade tensions and meeting challenges facing the global economy.

Azevedo made the remarks at a press conference after the WTO announced it lowered its forecast for global trade growth this year from 3.7 percent to 2.6 percent, due to economic uncertainties stemming significantly from trade tensions.

Huawei tops corporate patent applications in 2018: WIPO

GENEVA, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies was the top corporate filer of international patent applications in 2018, leading an Asia-based innovation surge accounting for over half of the applications submitted at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) last year, WIPO said on Tuesday.

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