A recap of Monday’s top stories: ‘Multi-generational tragedy’ in Israel and Palestine demands viable two-State solution; gender gap persists in Latin America’s workforce; Syria envoy urges prisoner release ahead of talks in Geneva; Egypt urged to end repression of protesters and rights defenders; future of digital communications discussed at world conference.

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The Somalia Partnership Forum concluded on Wednesday in the capital Mogadishu, with attendees - including the UN Special Representative for the country - taking stock of progress made, while also noting remaining challenges and agreeing on a set of priorities moving forward.

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The international community must step up efforts to end instability around Africa’s Great Lakes so that millions there can benefit from its riches, the UN Special Envoy for the region told the Security Council on Thursday.

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Leaders should devise an “incentive structure” to promote a startup culture among young Africans. “I think they will produce the magic,” Albert Muchanga, the African Union’s Commissioner for Trade and Industry, told a gathering on infrastructure at the United Nations on Wednesday.

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Through the cooperation of the leaders of South Sudan, First Vice-President Taban Deng Gai on Thursday told the United Nations General Assembly that his country could become “a beacon of hope and peace”.

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The historically male-dominated shipping industry should clear the decks for a new generation of women, whose empowerment would help fuel economic growth, and speed up the drive towards “safe, secure, clean and sustainable shipping”.

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The long Afghan conflict can only be resolved by “direct talks” between its own people, the chief of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) told the Security Council on Tuesday, underscoring that they must be inclusive and represent “the whole spectrum of Afghan society”.

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In her inaugural speech as President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Mona Juul, of Norway, underscored that the body’s mandate today remains “as relevant and compelling” as it did back in 1945 when it was tasked with “fostering international cooperation on economic, social, and cultural issues”.

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Friday’s main news stories include: Guterres welcomes Sudan power-sharing deal; six children are among 53 confirmed dead after Libya detention centre airstrikes; Monsoon rains wreak havoc in Rohingya camps; and Bachelet calls for “time and space” in Venezuela.

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The looting and destruction of UN food relief agency premises and property in Sudan, has prompted the UN-African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and UN Country Team, to condemn the assault as a “blatant violation of international humanitarian law”.

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