U.N.

Yemen’s Hodeida Offensive: Once Avoidable, Now Imminent

Salesb 1a

When the plan for consultations between Yemen’s warring parties, scheduled to begin in Geneva on 8 September, collapsed, the frozen battle for the Red Sea port of Hodeida resumed. Peter Salisbury ICG It could prove fatal for many of the millions already on the brink of starvation. Over the last two weeks, the latest attempt to set Yemen on the path to peace has collapsed, triggering what could become the bloodiest battle of a war approaching its fourth anniversary. In ... Read More »

Australia is reported to UN human rights council over illegal detention of asylum seekers

Kres 6f

Government condemned for arbitrary detention of three asylum seekers, including a stateless man held for nearly nine years… Ben Doherty The Guardian United Nations body has condemned Australia’s arbitrary detention of three asylum seekers, one of whom has been held without charge or trial for nearly nine years. The UN working group on arbitrary detention – which reports to the human rights council, on which Australia sits – said in its annual report it was concerned by “the rising prevalence ... Read More »

UN Secretary-General: American Power Is in Decline, the World Is ‘in Pieces’

Incomplete World Map Made of Jigsaw Pieces

Is Democracy Dying? António Guterres confronts the “reemergence of irrationality” in global politics. Uri Friedman The Atlantic For the past two years, the secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, has watched as President Donald Trump upends American foreign policy, engaging in trade wars while simultaneously disengaging from international agreements and… And now Guterres has reached a verdict: The United States, once the guarantor of global stability, is losing its ability to influence world events. “I think that the soft ... Read More »

EU weighs new sanctions against Myanmar over Rohingya

Supporters of detained Myanmar journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo march during a rally in Yangon demanding for their release on September 1, 2018. - The two Reuters journalists in Myanmar accused of breaking a state secrets law while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims face verdict on September 3. (Photo by - / AFP)        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

Sanctions could target top officials or businesses linked to country’s military. Simon Marks Politico Several EU countries are considering expanding sanctions against Myanmar in the wake of calls from the United Nations for senior military officials from the country to be investigated for genocide against the Rohingya population. The EU has already placed sanctions — including a travel ban and asset freezes — on seven senior officials accused of committing serious human rights abuses against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority. But mounting evidence of human rights violations — ... Read More »

Yemen’s Geneva talks fall apart after Houthi no-show

Yam 1a

UN-sponsored peace talks falter after Houthi rebels fail to show up, prompting Yemeni government officials to leave. Barbara Bibbo Al Jazeera Geneva, Switzerland – Yemen’s foreign minister has harshly criticised UN diplomats for not putting pressure on the Houthi rebel group to attend peace talks in Geneva, dooming them to failure. Minister Khaled al-Yamani, who was heading the Yemeni delegation, said that Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths was providing the… Yemen’s Geneva talks… Read More »

UN Begins Talks on World’s First Treaty to Regulate High Seas

Psol 1a

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 7 2018 (IPS) – After several years of preliminary discussions, the United Nations has begun its first round of inter-governmental negotiations to draft the world’s first legally binding treaty to protect and regulate the “high seas”—which, by definition, extend beyond 200 nautical miles (370… Thalif Deen “The high seas cover half our planet and are vital to the functioning of the whole ocean and all life on Earth. The current high seas governance system is weak, fragmented ... Read More »

Ceasefire agreed to end fighting in Libya’s Tripoli, says UN

Anat 1a

Rival militias in and around Tripoli already forged and promptly violated a ceasefire Borzou Daragahi Independent Warring factions in Libya’s capital have signed onto a shaky ceasefire aimed at ending 10 days of fighting that has left dozens dead and displaced thousands. The deal came hours after Libya’s UN envoy, Ghassam Salame, swooped into Tripoli and summoned politicians and warlords for an emergency meeting to end fighting that had plunged the city of one million into a fresh round of misery, violence, and chaos. ... Read More »

UN report documents genocide against Rohingya: What now?

Xef 3c

The United Nations has released a searing report that details Myanmar’s state violence against an ethnic and religious minority in that country known as the Rohingya. The Conversation The report demands that top leadership in Myanmar’s powerful military be held accountable for genocide and other international crimes. As co-directors of the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention at Binghamton University, we see this recognition of genocide in Myanmar as an opportunity to help mobilize the international community to take ... Read More »

Nauru blocks transfer of mentally ill refugee to Australia despite Federal Court order

Owen 3c

The Government of Nauru has blocked the medical evacuation of a refugee needing urgent treatment for depression and trauma-related conditions, despite court orders stipulating she must be brought to… Exclusive by Emma Younger and Sarah Farnsworth ABC An urgent Federal Court hearing this evening was told the failure to transfer the woman to Australia left Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and the Commonwealth in breach of court orders made on… The court heard Nauru’s secretary for Multicultural Affairs refused to ... Read More »

Why Does the U.S. Support War Crimes in Yemen?

AxAp 1a

Washington should rethink its blind support for Riyadh. Paul R. Pillar The National Interest The war in Yemen has been for some time one of the worst current man-made humanitarian disasters. Now comes a report , from the United Nations Human Rights Council and based on extensive investigations by a group of experts examining the past four years of the… By far the most destructive offenses have been committed by the principal external intervenors—Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—and the titular ... Read More »

An open letter of complaint to the Guardian

Cy logo 1a Klearchos 27 12 2016

An Open Letter Addressed to the Readers’ Editor of the Guardian newspaper in London, dated 5 September 2018 Dear Sir Re: Image accompanying an article published by the Guardian on 3 September 2018 I am writing to make a complaint about the image of the Eastern Mediterranean accompanying an article by Elif Shafak entitled ‘Even as Turkey pulls away, the west must help its people to resist’ (hereafter ‘the Image’). The Image was published online by the Guardian on 3 September 2018 (at www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/03/turkey-west-erdogan-democracy-civil-rights?CMP=share_btn_tw). I do not know whether the Image was also published in the hard copy of ... Read More »

Nicaragua expels UN team after critical report

Fern 1a

The government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has ordered a team from the United Nations Commission for Human Rights to leave. BBC The expulsion comes days after a critical report into human rights in Nicaragua during months of anti-government protests. The chief of the UN mission, Guillermo Fernandez, said his team would continue to monitor the situation from abroad. More than 300 people were killed during the recent political unrest. The report released on Wednesday by the UN High Commissioner for ... Read More »

Explainer: why the UN has found Myanmar’s military committed genocide against the Rohingya

Xea 3c

The UN Human Rights Council released a new report last Monday, which calls last year’s violence against the Rohingya “genocide”. Anthony Ware The Conversation Released almost exactly a year after the start of devastating violence that drove 671,500 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh within a matter of months, the report found conclusive evidence that Myanmar’s armed… Using the strongest language to date, the report calls for the Myanmar commander-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing, and five generals to be prosecuted. What was the ... Read More »

Cate Blanchett urges UN to act on Rohingya Muslim refugees

KateB 1a

Oscar-winning actor Cate Blanchett has told the UN Security Council that nothing prepared her for “the extent and depth of suffering” she saw when she visited camps in Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled a… The Australian AP In her very different role as a goodwill ambassador for the UN refugee agency, Blanchett said she heard “gut-wrenching accounts” of torture, rape, people seeing loved ones killed before their eyes, and… “I am a mother, and I saw my children ... Read More »

UN meeting on new Syrian constitution set for next month

Asta 3c

The United Nations peace envoy for Syria will host Iran, Russia and Turkey for talks on drafting a new Syrian constitution on Sept. 11-12, a United Nations spokeswoman said on Aug. 24. GENEVA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura has been tasked with setting up a committee to write a new constitution for the war-ravaged country. The main foreign powers backing the project are Syrian government allies Russia and Iran, as well as Turkey, which supports some opposition groups. Representatives of the… UN meeting on… Read More »

Timor-Leste praises Witness K’s actions in helping resolve maritime border

Lest 5e

New foreign minister says the country has begun a new chapter in its relations with Australia Helen Davidson The Guardian The actions of Witness K and Bernard Collaery were a valued part of the “collective effort” that led to the historic maritime boundary treaty between Australia and Timor-Leste, the Timorese foreign minister has said. In an exclusive interview with Guardian Australia, the foreign minister of Timor-Leste, Dionísio Babo Soares, said the two nations were at a new stage of their ... Read More »