Young people from 22 countries have gathered at the United Nations this week to shine a light on the impact that the global economic crisis is having on youth around the world.

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Tens of thousands of Zimbabwean orphans and otherwise vulnerable children will benefit from cash transfers, educational aid and protection services under a new Government programme launched in partnership with the United Nations and international donors.

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Stressing that the warning signs of impending disaster were evident, but ignored, long before drought and famine began killing tens of thousands of people in the Horn of Africa, the United Nations today swung its support behind a ‘Never Again’ campaign to end extreme hunger.

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The United Nations has encouraged Tanzania to urgently address the problem of violence against children in the wake of a new Government-led survey in which almost three quarters of girls and boys said they had experienced physical violence before the age of 18 at the hands of an adult or an intimate partner.

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The United Nations envoy advocating for the rights of children during armed conflicts today welcomed the Security Council's decision to agree to apply sanctions against any individuals or entities that violate children's rights.

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Hundreds of young people converged on the United Nations in New York today as the General Assembly kicked off a high-level meeting devoted to tackling the challenges facing youth and exploring their potential to bring about change in their societies and in the world at large.

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The Security Council today, recognizing schools and hospitals as safe havens for children, called for all parties to conflict that attack such facilities to be held accountable and that they be added to the list published annually by the United Nations of those who commit grave violations against children.

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In a few days' time, world leaders and policy makers will convene at the United Nations for a special summit on young people. Given recent developments in many parts of the world, such a meeting is timely.

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The African Union today outlined its priorities for collaboration with UN Women- the UN entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

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Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro today underscored the importance of education in raising the status of women in society and called for greater investment in measures to ensure gender equality, deploring the fact that two-thirds of illiterate adults across the world are female.

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