News in Brief (PM)

BRICS can impact food security: FAO

The five countries with newly industrialized economies, known as the BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, are well placed to lead agricultural reforms which could transform rural societies.

That’s according to a senior official with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Kundhavi Kadiresan, the agency’s representative for Asia and the Pacific, was speaking to BRICS Agriculture Ministers meeting in New Delhi, India, on Friday.

He said that with more than 42 per cent of the world’s population living in the BRICS countries, inclusive agricultural policies developed by them could have an impact on sustainable food production.

BRICS members are already supporting other developing countries, for example through cooperation efforts or by sharing their knowledge, he added.

Oil pipeline threatens Native American tribe

An expert on the rights of indigenous people is urging the United States to halt construction of an oil pipeline which threatens Native American land.

The Dakota Access Pipeline will stretch more than 1,800 km, crossing four states.

UN Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz said it poses a significant risk to drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

The pipeline could also destroy their burial grounds and sacred sites, she added.

Ms Tauli-Corpuz said the tribe was excluded from consultations during its initial planning stages, something which she said should have taken place.

UN officials in Colombia for signing of peace agreement

Top officials from the United Nations will join Colombia in marking a milestone in its history.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend the ceremony on Monday for the signing of the agreement which sets out the terms to end fighting between Government forces and FARC rebels.

More than 200,000 people died and nearly seven million were uprooted during five decades of conflict.

The UN Human Rights High Commissioner will also be in the South American country.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein will spend six days there, where his plans include meeting with government members, business leaders, civil society and the diplomatic community.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’18”

Source: United Nations Radio.