UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on Thursday named fashion designer and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham a goodwill ambassador.
Beckham, who said she was inspired to help after a “life-changing” visit to HIV clinics in South Africa, will focus on working toward ensuring that all children are born free from HIV and that children and women who are living with and affected by HIV have access to medicines and care, UNAIDS said.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that there was still a “significant gap between where we are and where we need to be” in the international response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and appealed for more countries to help.
An outbreak that began in a remote corner of Guinea has taken hold of much of neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone, killing nearly 3,000 people in just over six months. Senegal and Nigeria have recorded cases but, for now, contained them.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iran President Hassan Rouhani blamed the rise of the Islamic State group and other militants on “certain intelligence agencies” but also said the solution to stopping them must come from the Middle East region itself.
“The extremists of the world have found each other and have put out the call, ‘extremists of the world unite’. But are we united against the extremists?” Rouhani asked in a speech to the 193-member United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A global Arms Trade Treaty to regulate the $85 billion industry and keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers and criminals will come into force on Dec. 24 after the 50th country ratified the agreement on Thursday, the United Nations said.
The 193-member U.N. General Assembly adopted the treaty in April last year. Argentina, Bahamas, Portugal, Czech Republic, St. Lucia, Senegal and Uruguay deposited their ratifications with the world body on Thursday, taking the total to 52.
LONDON/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron said he wanted Britain to join U.S.-led air strikes against the Islamic State militant group after the Iraqi government requested London’s help and he recalled parliament to secure its approval for military action.
Parliament, which was in recess, will reconvene on Friday to vote on allowing Britain’s Royal Air Force to hit Islamic State targets in northern Iraq. The action has the backing of all three main parties and is expected to comfortably pass.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council demanded on Wednesday that all states make it a serious criminal offense for their citizens to travel abroad to fight with militant groups, or to recruit and fund others to do so, in a move sparked by the rise of Islamic State.
At a meeting chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama, the 15-member council unanimously adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution that compels countries to “prevent and suppress” the recruitment and travel of militant fighters to foreign conflicts.