Category Archives: News

Myanmar: Increasing evidence of crimes against humanity since coup

Crimes against humanity and war crimes have intensified in the wake of the February 2021 military coup in Myanmar, the UN Human Rights Council heard on Monday. 

The Geneva-based body was briefed by Nicholas Koumjian, Head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM), who presented its latest report.

The Mechanism was established by the Council to collect and preserve evidence of the most serious international crimes in the country.

The Mechanism has prepared 67 evidential and analytical packages to share with judicial authorities, including for proceedings at the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.

Almost three million “information items” from more than 200 sources have so far been collected and processed. More

UN chief sees ‘great heights’ of human endurance and heroism amid ‘climate carnage’ in Pakistan

Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday reiterated that the needs in flood-ravaged Pakistan are enormous and called for urgent financial support, as he wrapped up a two-day trip aimed at raising awareness of the climate-driven disaster with flights over some of the hardest hit areas.

The UN chief landed in Sindh province before flying over some of the worst-affected areas on his way to Balochistan, where he met with local residents, some of whom were directly impacted by the floods. Many had lost their loved ones, homes and everything they owned, amid the near continuous monsoon rainfall, flash flooding, and rain-induced landslides that have pummeled the country since mid-June.

More than 1,300 lives have been lost, and according to the United Nations, tens of millions of people are now homeless, one-third of this vast country is submerged, and livestock and crops have been wiped out. Moreover, education and learning has been interrupted for an estimated 3.5 million children, including in at least 61 refugee schools. More

‘Solutions lie in solidarity’ UN chief says on South-South Cooperation Day

In this era of unprecedented challenge and upheaval, “solutions lie in solidarity,” the UN chief said in his message commemorating United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, on Monday. 

South-South cooperation is unity among people and countries of the developing world, known as the global South, which contributes to national well-being, collective self-reliance and achieving the global goals.

“South-South and triangular cooperation are critical for developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate disruption, address the global health crisis, including COVID-19 recovery, and achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” underscored Secretary-General António Guterres. More

Queen Elizabeth II: ‘Reassuring presence’ throughout decades of ‘sweeping change’

Secretary-General António Guterres expressed on Thursday, his deep sadness at the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

As the UK’s longest-lived and longest-reigning Head of State, the 96-year-old Queen was widely admired for her “grace, dignity, and dedication around the world,” he said in a statement.

“She was a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change, including the decolonization of Africa and Asia and the evolution of the Commonwealth”.

Queen Elizabeth II was “a good friend of the United Nations”, he said, recalling that she had visited New York Headquarters twice, more than fifty years apart.

“She was deeply committed to many charitable and environmental causes and spoke movingly to delegates at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow,” recalled the UN chief.  More

Pollution and climate change upsurge the risk of ‘climate penalty’

A rise in the frequency, intensity and duration of heatwaves will not only increase wildfires this century but also worsen air quality – harming human health and ecosystems, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) launched on Wednesday, the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies.

“As the globe warms, wildfires and associated air pollution are expected to increase, even under a low emissions scenario,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

“In addition to human health impacts, this will also affect ecosystems as air pollutants settle from the atmosphere to Earth’s surface”. More

Human development falling behind in ninety per cent of countries: UN report

The latest flagship UN report on human development, released on Thursday, warns that multiple crises are halting progress on human development, which is going backwards in the overwhelming majority of countries. Here are five things to look out for in the report.

The 2021/22 Human Development Report (HDR) – which is entitled “Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World” – paints a picture of a global society lurching from crisis to crisis, and which risks heading towards increasing deprivation and injustice.

Heading the list of events causing major global disruption are the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which have come on top of sweeping social and economic shifts, dangerous planetary changes, and massive increases in polarization. More

Papua New Guinea: Conflict and election-related violence trigger wave of displacement

Following conflict and election-related violence in Papua New Guinea, more than 15,000 people have been internally displaced in Hela, Southern Highlands and Enga provinces, the International Organization for Migration´s (IOM) said on Tuesday.

From 13 to 30 August, IOM partnered with local authorities in deploying its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) team to track and monitor internal displacement and identify the needs of those most affected in the Highlands region.

As assessments in hard-to-access provinces continue, the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is expected to rise.

IOM, in partnership with the National Disaster Centre, and with support from USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) and the Australian Government, will deliver emergency assistance to the affected and most vulnerable populations including women, persons living with disabilities, and the elderly.

So far, IOM has been able to distribute shelter kits to mostly women and children in 236 affected households in Mendi, Southern Highlands Province. More

Egypt prepares for flagship UN climate conference, in a year of unprecedented global weather shocks

Regional authorities in Egypt, the host country of the 2022 UN climate conference (COP27), are ramping up initiatives designed to improve the country’s environmental credentials, and speed up its transition to a low carbon economy. The event will begin on 4 November, in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Several COP27-related initiatives are underway in Egypt: they include projects related to sustainable transport, waste recycling, women’s health, the transition to clean energy, sustainable cities, adaptation measures in the water and agriculture sector, and the links between peace and climate.

In preparation for the Climate Summit, the regional authorities in the Red Sea Governorate, in cooperation with a number of other state organizations, is holding a series of events aimed at raising awareness of environmental and sustainability concerns. These workshops will continue through to November, and the opening of the Conference. More

Police in the field embody ‘promise, hope and optimism’ of whole UN: Guterres

Police officers from more than 90 countries who serve at UN operations around the world represent “multilateralism in action”, Secretary-General António Guterres said in New York on Thursday. 

Mr. Guterres was delivering remarks to the third UN Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS), which brought together ministers, police chiefs, and senior representatives of regional and professional policing organizations.

“Since the first deployment of United Nations Police in 1960, they have continued to embody the promise, hope and optimism of our Organization,” he said.

Mr. Guterres thanked the policing officials for providing their best officers to the UN, particularly women officers, which has helped the Organization to surpass gender parity targets and ensure policing is gender responsive.

He also urged countries to increase their technological support so that UN Police can keep pace with needs, both now and in the future.  More

Pakistan: $160 million UN emergency plan launched, as ‘monsoon on steroids’ continues

$160 million emergency plan to help Pakistan deal with devastating flooding has been launched by the United Nations, aiming to reach “5.2 million of the most vulnerable people in the country”.

An estimated 33 million people have been affected by the “worst flooding in decades “and more than 1,000 people, mostly children”, have died since mid-June when heavy rains began pounding the country, Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN humanitarian coordination office, OCHA, said on Tuesday.

“Pakistan is awash in suffering,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a video message to launch the six-month appeal in Islamabad and Geneva. More