Security Council makes unannounced visit to support Afghan peace efforts

The Security Council carried out an unannounced three-day visit to Afghanistan over the weekend, to lend support to the country's efforts to restore "peace and stability".

It was the first such visit to Afghanistan since 2010, and allowed Council members to get a "first-hand account of progress" being made by the national unity Government.

During the visit, members held meetings with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and other senior officials; together with parliamentarians, women-NGOs and civil society organizations.

They also met the leadership of the UN Mission there, UNAMA, and NATO's Resolute Support Mission.

Here's President of the Security Council, Ambassador Kairat Umarov of Kazakhstan, speaking in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

"The visit was an opportunity to reiterate the Security Council's support for the Government and people of Afghanistan, and their efforts to restore peace, stability and progress to the country."

UN chief calls for escalation of "armed actions" in Colombia to stop

The UN chief Antonio Guterres has called for an end to armed action on the part of Colombia's ELN, or National Liberation Army rebels, who attacked an oil pipeline just hours after the expiration of a temporary ceasefire.

The Secretary-General was speaking to reporters at the end of a two-day visit to the country, where he was seeking to bolster implementation of an historic peace deal between the Government and the largest former-rebel group, the FARC.

He said there was a need for "serious and constructive dialogue" to resume with the ELN as soon as possible in order to reach a political settlement.

More details on the UN chief's visit from Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

"He instructed his Special Adviser, Jean Arnault, to take all the necessary actions to facilitate the parties' return to the negotiating table. While there, he also held extensive meetings with President Juan Manual Santos and key members of his Government, during which he reiterated the solidarity and commitment of the United Nations alongside Colombia in building peace in the country."

Faster delivery of life-saving aid through Yemen's main port a step closer

Faster delivery of live-saving aid to the war-stricken people of Yemen moved a step closer on Monday, with the World Food Programme (WFP) reporting that a ship carrying four mobile cranes had arrived in the main port of Hodeidah.

The cranes, funded by the US Agency for International Development, will unload ships carrying vital aid to families who are in the grip of the world's biggest hunger crisis.

WFP Executive Director David Beasley said that more was needed "to avert even greater catastrophe", and called for better access and faster bureaucratic clearance for shipments.

More from Stephane Dujarric again.

"The cranes, which will be operational immediately, are urgently needed to boost the capacity of Hodeidah Port, which handles around 70 per cent of Yemen's imports, including critically needed food and humanitarian supplies. With each of the mobile cranes able to handle up to 60 tons, they will significantly boost the discharge of humanitarian cargo and relief items."

Cambodia opens its first national cancer centre, with help from IAEA

Cambodia opened its first ever national cancer centre on Monday, aimed at increasing its capacity to tackle the growing health challenge posed by the disease.

With a contribution of around Euros 2 million from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the so-called Techo Santepheap Centre, located in the capital Phnom Penh, offers better radiotherapy, more nuclear medicine machines and specialized staff training.

Until today, the whole of Cambodia had only one radiotherapy machine, while dealing with 15,000 new cancer cases each year.

Yukiya Amano, head of the IAEA, praised the launch as one of the most important projects since Cambodia rejoined the IAEA, in 2009.

"The Government and people of Cambodia can take great pride in this achievement," he said, "knowing that many thousands of your fellow countrymen and women will benefit from modern cancer treatment and diagnostic services in the coming decades."

Source: United Nations Radio

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