WFP in Bangladesh; UNIDO-UNODC partnership on drug control; Timor-Leste elections; and more

Bangladesh: The WFP announced today it will begin rolling out a new campaign aimed at providing nutritional support to Bangladeshi children and pregnant and nursing women.

The campaign, which will specifically target the country’s Cox’s Bazar district where almost 20 per cent of children under the age of five are undernourished, will not only include nutritional support for those in need but also provide nutrition education for the community-at-large.

“The rolling out of this programme to improve maternal and child nutrition with the Government is an important step in the fight against undernutrition in Cox’s Bazar,” said Christa Räder, WFP Representative in Bangladesh.

WFP plans to assist 14,800 children and 2,000 pregnant and nursing women through the program.

UNIDO-UNODC partnership
: Two UN agencies have joined forces today in an effort to wean poor rural communities off of their dependency on drug crop cultivation through initiatives spurring economic growth and sustainable development.

An agreement signed in Vienna between Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), will set up a partnership that promotes industrial development, job creation, drug control and crime prevention as vehicles for rural poverty alleviation and development around the world.

“The memorandum of understanding will help establish a strategic partnership in the spirit of One UN that supports sustainable development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in countries such as Afghanistan,” added Mr. Fedotov.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today congratulated the people of Timor-Leste for demonstrating their commitment to democracy and peace by participating in the presidential election. Mr. Ban said he was heartened that yesterday’s election was conducted in an atmosphere of order and calm.He reiterated the continued commitment of the United Nations to supporting the completion of this year’s electoral process.

Last month, the Security Council extended until the end of the year the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste to continue helping promote peace, stability and development. Until its expected departure on 31 December, the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) will assist with key tasks such as institutional development and capacity-building of the national police, known as the PNTL, as well as provide electoral assistance.

Human Rights and Sustainable Development:
 A group of independent UN experts today urged States to include universally agreed international human rights norms and standards, as well as accountability mechanisms, in the goals that will emerge from a UN sustainable development forum in June.

They suggested that Rio+20 establish an international accountability mechanism similar to the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, which subjects each country’s human rights record to a State-led peer review on the basis of information submitted by the country concerned, UN entities, civil society and other stakeholders.

Violence against women
: The Solomon Islands must do more to protect women from violence and provide victims of gender inequality and discrimination access to justice, an independent United Nations human rights expert stressed after visiting the country.

Rashida Manjoo, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, wrapped up a five-day visit to the Pacific Ocean nation during which she focused on instances of violence against women amid the country’s ongoing efforts to overcome poverty and underdevelopment.