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UN agency asks Ukraine to probe murder of Congolese asylum seeker

The United Nations refugee agency has raised asked the Government of Ukraine to investigate the recent murder of a Congolese asylum seeker in the country.“We are shocked by the murder last weekend in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv (Kiev) of an asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said William Spindler, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).The 19-year old asylum seeker arrived in June 2007 in search of international protection and approached the agency’s non-governmental organization (NGO) partner NGO in Kyiv for legal assistance and was officially registered as an asylum seeker.His body was found on the night of 27 January, with numerous knife wounds and police have indicated that there is no known motive. “The United Nations Office in Ukraine, UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration have expressed to the Ukrainian authorities their grave concern over this murder and requested that a thorough investigation be conducted, including the possibility that it was a racially-motivated attack, and keep them informed of the outcome of the investigation,” Mr. Spindler said.Last June, UNHCR expressed concern about the rise in attacks on asylum seekers and refugees in Ukraine. In 2007 some 17 persons of concern reported to UNHCR such incidents in Kyiv alone, “including unprovoked attacks, beatings and verbal abuse,” the spokesman said.In January, organizations monitoring the situation noticed an increase in the number of incidents of violence against people of different ethnicity both in Kyiv and in other parts of the country.UNHCR praised the Government for taking steps to address the problem, including appointing a special ambassador to address this problem. 1 February 2008The United Nations refugee agency has raised asked the Government of Ukraine to investigate the recent murder of a Congolese asylum seeker in the country. read more

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Many deaths can be avoided with better data UN deputy chief

Other projects and initiatives include the ID4D partnership with the World Bank, which aims to help countries realise the transformational potential of responsible digital identification systems, and the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, launched by the UN Secretary-General in July 2018 to strengthen inter-governmental cooperation in the digital space.There is an urgent need for data and statistical systems funding, said Ms. Mohammed, which currently remains limited, and for political, technical and advocacy support in all areas.Data literacy must be developed, she added, as well as “innovative tools and data visualization platforms, which allow users to understand data intuitively and interact seamlessly with data in real time.”“UN country teams of the future,” she said, “must be fully equipped with the right skills and capacities to harness the opportunities offered by all types of data and innovation, including emerging technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics and drones.”Ms. Mohammed concluded by inviting all data innovators to work with the UN and help absolutely no one is left behind. To find out more about how digital technology is being to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems, listen to this recent episode of our flagship podcast The Lid Is On. “While it is clear that the data revolution is having an enormous impact, it has not benefited everyone equally,” said Ms. Mohammed, adding that, to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), better and bigger data is needed: “With accurate, representative, inclusive and disaggregated data, we can understand the challenges we face, and identify the most appropriate solutions for sustainable development.The UN deputy chief outlined other ways that data can improve lives: “It means students can find out about job opportunities and women can learn about laws protecting them from discrimination. It means citizens can monitor how their governments are performing and hold decision-makers to account. It can strengthen trust in public institutions and unveil new opportunities.”The United Nations, said Ms. Mohammed, is leading global efforts to integrate data and information systems. One example is the Open Data Hub for the Sustainable Development Goals, a tool which  provides decision makers with accurate data for informed policy and advocacy.Another is the global SDG indicator website – which gives users access to all available global information and enables them to see interactive stories about progress on implementing the 2030 Agenda – and UN Global Pulse, which partners with UN experts, governments, academia and the private sector to harness big data for development and humanitarian action worldwide.Ms. Mohammed also mentioned the work of the United Nations Centre for Humanitarian Data, based in The Hague, which is increasing the impact and use of data throughout the humanitarian sector, ensuring that aid workers around the world can access information they need to make fast, life-saving, informed decisions. read more