News In Brief 24 January 2018

UN chief "appalled and deeply saddened" by attack on Save the Children

The UN chief said he was "appalled and deeply saddened" by Wednesday's attack on the offices of the international NGO Save the Children in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

The NGO announced the death of three of its staff members, and news reports said dozens had been injured, including children.

A local affiliate of the ISIL terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which led to a 10-hour siege.

Save the Children has temporarily suspended all of its programmes in Afghanistan.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his deep sympathy to the families of all the victims.

Here's UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

"Humanitarian organizations provide life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable men, women and children in Afghanistan. Aid workers, and their premises and assets, should never be a target. The Secretary-General reiterates that all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan are obliged under international law to protect humanitarian workers and civilians."

Iraqis urged to "seize the opportunity" of peace

Iraqis were urged on Wednesday to "seize the opportunity" provided by defeating the ISIL, or Daesh, terrorist group across the country and build a "prosperous future".

That was the message from Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenca, who has just finished a three-day visit to the country, including a tour of liberated Mosul.

In Baghdad, he encouraged the Iraqi authorities to create a "safe and conducive environment to ensure credible elections".

He welcomed the commitment to hold national elections in accordance with the constitutional timeline, on 12 May this year.

More from Stephane Dujarric again.

"He confirmed the continued strong commitment of the United Nations to support the Independent High Electoral Commission's work to enhance the inclusiveness, transparency and acceptability of the elections. During his visit, Mr. Jenca discussed the prospects for a genuine national reconciliation process, and explored opportunities for ensuring the full inclusion of all ethnic and religious groups."

Little evidence that migrants cost more than they make: ILO

There is little evidence that migrants cost host countries' economies more than they contribute, according to a joint report released on Wednesday by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The report examined the impact of migrants in countries like Argentina, CAte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, South Africa and Thailand, among others.

It found that in most of the countries, migrants displayed higher labour force participation and employment rates than native-born workers.

But many of them are doing low-quality work, in poor working conditions.

Source: United Nations Radio