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Ban Ki moon: All-female Indian police unit inspiration for all

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Ban Ki-moon

New Delhi: UN Chief Ban Ki moon on Friday applauded India’s women peacekeeping unit in the Formed Police Unit (FPU) in Liberia for their outstanding contribution in combatting sexual exploitation and abuse.

The Secretary-General commended the women as an inspiration for all as the first-ever all-female police unit deployed ended its operations after nine years.

“Through their unwavering performance, professionalism and discipline, including during the Ebola epidemic, these brave women gained the respect of both the Government and the Liberian people,” the Secretary General’s spokesman said in a statement.

Ban Ki-moon said, “Through their work, they managed criminality, deterred sexual and gender-based violence and helped rebuild safety and confidence among the population.” The 125 women and supporting personnel are returning to their homeland this weekend.

According to the statement, Ban hailed the Formed Police Unit (FPU) for making such environment for Liberia where it can fully assume its security responsibilities as mandated by the Security Council by June 30, 2016.

Ban also stated that the United Nations effort in diminishing sexual abuse and exploitation is a direct consequence of the FPU’s step in deploying more female uniformed personnel.The Secretary-General thanked all the women for being the models for gender equality and an inspiration for all Liberians, as well as current and future generations of female police officers.

Ban Ki-moon also paid tribute to the outstanding contribution of the Indian government in support of the United Nations peace operations.(Inputs from Agencies)

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Toxicity in Air Affects Children’s Brain Development: UNICEF

UNICEF has warned that air pollution affects a child's brain development

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Brain Development
According to UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, air pollution toxicity can affect children's brain development. Pixabay

Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore has warned that air pollution toxicity can affect children’s brain development and called for urgent action to deal with the crisis gripping India and South Asia.

“I saw first-hand how children continue to suffer from the dire consequences of air pollution,” Fore, who recently visited India, said on Wednesday.

“The air quality was at a crisis level. You could smell the toxic fog even from behind an air filtration mask,” she added.

Air pollution affects children most severely and its effects continue all their lives because they have smaller lungs, breathe twice as fast as adults and lack immunities, Fore said.

Brain Development
Air pollution damages brain tissue and undermines brain development in babies and young children. Pixabay

She added that it “damages brain tissue and undermines cognitive development in babies and young children, leading to lifelong consequences that can affect their learning outcomes and future potential. There is evidence to suggest that adolescents exposed to higher levels of air pollution are more likely to experience mental health problems”.

“Unicef is calling for urgent action to address this air quality crisis,” affecting 620 million children in South Asia.

Also Read- Snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir to Help Bring Pollution Down in Neighbouring States

Schools were closed in Delhi till Tuesday because of the severe environmental situation caused by post-harvest burning of stubble in neighbouring states.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) on Sunday touched 625, considered “severe plus” level. (IANS)