U.N.

Rights not “fortress conservation” key to save planet, says UN expert

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Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples calls for a new, rights-based approach to conservation David Hill The Guardian The United Nations Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, has released a report highly critical of the global conservation movement and calling for indigenous peoples and other local communities to have a… What exactly is meant by that? It is “the idea that to protect forests and biodiversity, ecosystems need to function in isolation, devoid of people,” the Rapporteur told the Guardian. ... Read More »

Europe’s dependence on the US was all part of the plan

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 21:  The voting results are displayed on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly in which the United States declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was declared "null and void" on December 21, 2017 in New York City. The vote, 128-9, at the United Nations concerned Washington's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate its embassy there. The Trump administration has threatened to take action against any country that votes against the United States decision to move its embassy.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Postwar US statesmen designed our world order as it is for a reason. They had lived through what happened without it. Claire Berlinski Politico As feared, the president of the United States arrived at last week’s NATO summit in a mood of preposterous spleen, profound contempt and shocking rudeness. He insisted on sharing before the cameras imaginary facts that hadn’t a thing to do with the summit agenda, and he refused to listen to anyone who tried, however gently, to ... Read More »

UN Security Council imposes arms embargo on South Sudan

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South Sudan has been at war since 2013, when President Salva Kiir accused then-deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. AlJazeera The United Nations Security Council has imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan, almost five years after a ruinous civil war in the country started. A United States-drafted resolution won the minimum nine votes needed, while six member states abstained, wary of voting for the measure amid regional attempts to revitalise the South Sudan peace… US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said ... Read More »

Number of Yemenis fleeing Al-Hudaydah tops 121,000: UN

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More than 121,000 people have recently fled Yemen’s port city of Al-Hudaydah due to fierce attacks by Saudi-led coalition forces, according to a new UN report. AL-HUDAYDAH, Yemen – Anadolu Agency Hurriyet The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest situation report on Al-Hudaydah released on July 4 that displacement from the Al-Hudaydah Governorate continues and… “More than 10,000 displaced households (nearly 80,000 people) have been assisted with food, emergency kits, and other life-saving support,” ... Read More »

Rohingya crisis: Bangladesh to deploy thousands of police to refugee camps to improve safety

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Bangladesh is deploying thousands of extra police to Rohingya refugee camps in the south, officials said, after a series of mostly unexplained killings that have sown fear among hundreds of thousands of people who have fled from… Reuters ABC Since August, when a military crackdown in Myanmar forced many of the Muslim minority to cross the border into Bangladesh and seek shelter in the crowded camps, 19 people, some of them community leaders, have been killed. Police have made a ... Read More »

Australia ends direct aid to Palestinian Authority

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Australia has ceased providing direct aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop saying the donations could increase the self-governing body’s capacity to pay Palestinians convicted of politically motivated violence. ABC Ms Bishop said funding was cut to the World Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program after writing to the Palestinian Authority in late May seeking assurance that Australian funding was not going to Palestinian criminals. Australia sends about $10 million in ... Read More »

Averting War in Northern Somalia

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A dispute between Puntland and Somaliland over the contested areas of Sool and Sanaag risks escalating into open war. ICG The UN, supported by states with influence on the two sides, should renew diplomatic efforts to broker a ceasefire and press both to enter negotiations. What’s new? The self-declared republic of Somaliland and Puntland, an autonomous Somali region, are engaged in a perilous standoff over long-contested areas Sool and Sanaag. After repeated deadly clashes since the… Why does it matter? ... Read More »

Aid agencies warn cholera and catastrophe loom in Yemen

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As fighting rages for control of the key port of Hodeidah, there are fears that the harbor will be closed, cutting off vital supplies to millions Jonathan Gorvett Asia Times With fighting continuing in and around the key port city of Hodeidah, aid agencies warned this week that disruption caused by the battle could trigger another cholera epidemic in Yemen – and spell disaster for the millions in the country now dependent on imported… “If the harbour is closed, it ... Read More »

Yemen Conflict Alert: Last Chance to Prevent a Destructive Hodeida Battle

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The fate of Hodeida hangs in the balance as UAE-backed Yemeni forces poise for what will be a prolonged and destructive battle to expel Huthi rebels. ICG A real but fleeting opportunity exists to avert catastrophe through a UN-mediated solution that safeguards all sides’ interests. The battle for Hodeida is reaching the point of no return. UAE-backed Yemeni forces are poised to begin operations to take this Red Sea port and city of 600,000 from Huthi rebels. This is the ... Read More »

Send them to Taiwan: Turnbull government’s secret refugee deal revealed

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The Turnbull government has signed a deal to send refugees on Nauru who need urgent medical care to Taiwan, in an undisclosed arrangement aimed at stopping them from applying to stay in Australia after being treated in local hospitals. David Wroe The Age Fairfax Media can reveal Australia signed a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan – which is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention – in September last year that has so far seen about five refugees flown ... Read More »

UN Human Rights Council Should Act on Venezuela

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Venezuelan Crisis needs to be a Council Priority Leila Swan HRW No one was surprised when Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro was re-elected last May, or when the opposition alleged voting irregularities. Unofficial reports estimated low voter turnout, less than 40%, despite government officials’ frantic attempts to increase participation. Upon hearing the results, Maduro sang victory, claiming “The whole of Venezuela has triumphed! Democracy has triumphed! Peace has triumphed!”. Yet the elections were rejected by democracies world-wide. The Lima Group – comprised… UN ... Read More »

Brave international judges needed to champion trial rights, barrister says

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Australian Kate Gibson shares what life is like working as a barrister on the international stage and explains why achieving justice under intense political pressure is important for the legitimacy of UN-backed institutions. Melissa Coade LawyersWeekly Kate Gibson’s start as a corporate lawyer in Brisbane had little to do with the international career in criminal defence that she would go on to forge in Geneva. A member of St Philips Chambers in London and fluent French speaker, she has defended ... Read More »

Australia must reconsider how it deals with refugees

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Nearly 70 million people globally are now forcibly displaced from their homes and 25.4 million of them are refugees. More people are fleeing conflict and catastrophe than at any other time in history. Ian Smith Brisbane Times The Middle East, South-East Asia, Central America and Africa are all melting pots of enormous unrest. The movement of so many people impacts every country in the world. In danger, people will do the natural thing and look after their families by searching ... Read More »

US leaving UN’s Human Rights Council, cites anti-Israel bias

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The United States is leaving the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, which Ambassador Nikki Haley called “an organization that is not worthy of its name.” WASHINGTON – Associated Press Hurriyet It’s the latest withdrawal by the Trump administration from an international institution. Haley said Tuesday the U.S. had given the human rights body “opportunity after opportunity” to make changes. She lambasted the council for “its chronic bias against Israel” and lamented the fact that its membership includes accused human rights abusers such ... Read More »

Record 68.5 million people displaced worldwide: UN

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A record 68.5 million people have been forced flee their homes due to war, violence and persecution, notably in places like Myanmar and Syria, the UN said on June 19. GENEVA – Agence France Presse Hurriyet By the end of 2017, the number was nearly three million higher than the previous year and showed a 50-percent increase from the 42.7 million uprooted from their homes a decade ago, according to a report by the UN refugee agency. The current figure ... Read More »

Yemen war: UN calls for vital port of Hudaydah to stay open

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The UN Security Council has reiterated its call for the rebel-held Yemeni port of Hudaydah to remain open after urgent talks on the Saudi-backed offensive. BBC However, the council rejected a call by member state Sweden for an immediate halt to hostilities. Pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition launched the offensive after Houthi rebels ignored a deadline to leave the port city. Hudaydah is a key entry point for humanitarian aid to war-torn… Yemen war: UN… Read More »