UN envoy to Yemen 'does not intend' to continue in post past February

UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed will not continue in his post beyond the February expiration of his term. (REUTERS)
Updated 22 January 2018

UN envoy to Yemen 'does not intend' to continue in post past February

UNITED NATIONS: UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that he does not intend to continue in his post after his term expires in February, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday.
Ould Cheikh Ahmed expressed his sincere gratitude to the Secretary-General for his strong and resolute support for a political solution to the ongoing conflict in Yemen, reaffirming his continued interaction with the Yemeni people, which has been facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
"In this moment, his thoughts go first to the Yemeni people who are worn out by this conflict and are enduring one of the most devastating humanitarian crisis in the world," Dujarric said.
Ould Cheikh Ahmed also stressed that he will "remain committed" to seeking an end to the violence in Yemen and finding a political solution to its crisis that meets the "legitimate aspirations" of the Yemeni people through diplomatic efforts until his replacement takes over.

 


Malaysia’s poverty levels far higher than reported, UN expert says

Updated 31 min 10 sec ago

Malaysia’s poverty levels far higher than reported, UN expert says

  • Malaysia’s official poverty rate dropped to 0.4% in 2016
  • Independent groups said the actual poverty rate is 15%

KUALA LUMPUR: A UN human rights expert on Friday disputed Malaysia’s assertion that it has nearly eliminated poverty, saying that official figures were vastly inaccurate and do not reflect realities on the ground.
Malaysia’s official poverty rate dropped from 49% in 1970 to just 0.4% in 2016.
But Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said the official numbers relied on outdated measures, with the poverty line remaining at the same level for decades despite increasingly high costs of living.
Analyzes done by independent groups suggest that Malaysia has “significant poverty” and that its true poverty rate was about 15%, Alston said.
“The government’s official figures would make it the world champion in eliminating poverty ... but I think it’s pretty obvious that that’s not the case,” Alston told a news conference at the end of an 11-day visit to Malaysia.
The prime minister’s office and finance ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Alston’s assertion.
Alston said the national poverty line of $234.00 per household per month was “ridiculous,” as it would mean an urban family of four would have to survive on 8 ringgit, or less than $2, per person per day.
“It can’t be done except under really dire circumstances,” he said.
Undercounting the poverty rate has led to a lack of effective government policies targeting the problem, with too many underfunded and ineffective programs in place, Alston said.
He urged Malaysia to reassess its methods for measuring poverty and take into account vulnerable groups excluded from the data such as stateless families, migrant workers, and refugees
“Only then can Malaysia begin devising policies that can systematically address their needs,” he said.