U.N.

Under far-right pressure, Europe retreats from UN migration pact

Populists seize chance to put favorite issue on agenda ahead of EU vote, causing ructions among governments. Eline Schaart Politico A previously obscure 34-page, jargon-filled document is causing political convulsions across Europe — even though it’s not even legally binding.   Italy this week became the latest in a string of European countries to say it would not sign the U.N.’s Global Compact on Migration at a ceremony in Marrakech in just under two weeks. From the Netherlands through Belgium and Germany ... Read More »

Climate change: Can 12 billion tonnes of carbon be sucked from the air?

Is it remotely feasible to remove 12 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air? Every year. For decades to come. BBC That’s the challenge posed by the latest conclusions of the UN’s climate science panel. It says that only by pulling this heat-trapping gas out of the atmosphere can we avoid dangerous climate change. But according to one leading researcher, there’s a bit of a hitch: “We haven’t a clue how to do it”. The problem is that scientists ... Read More »

Paris is burning

Worries are mounting that the global effort to fight climate change will not meet its goals. By KALINA OROSCHAKOFF Politico They were supposed to always have Paris. Three years after world leaders celebrated the signing of a landmark agreement intended to head off catastrophic global warming, the effort looks to be going down in flames. Scientists say the cuts to greenhouse gas emissions agreed to under the 2015 Paris climate agreement fall far short of what would be needed to ... Read More »

It’s Not Just America: Climate Policies Are Stumbling Worldwide

According to the UN, most major polluters are not on track to meet their Paris goals. But critics say that accounting may be too pessimistic. Robinson Meyer The Atlantic Humanity is losing ground in its battle against climate change. On Tuesday, a new UN report warned that the world is farther than it was last year from meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. More than half of the planet’s richest countries—including Canada, Australia, South Korea, the United States, ... Read More »

United Nations finds the deadliest place for women is their home

Washington: Last year, 238 women across the globe were killed every day. Six women were killed every hour, at least four of them at the hands of someone they knew. Deanna Paul The Sydney Morning Herald / The Washington Post According to the 2018 report on the killing of women and girls released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, about 87,000 were killed worldwide in 2017, 58 per cent of them by an intimate partner or relative. Many of ... Read More »

Climate change: CO2 emissions rising for first time in four years

Global efforts to tackle climate change are way off track says the UN, as it details the first rise in CO2 emissions in four years. The emissions gap report says that economic growth is responsible for a rise in 2017 while national efforts to cut carbon have faltered. Matt McGrath BBC To meet the goals of the Paris climate pact, the study says it’s crucial that global emissions peak by 2020. But the analysis says that this is now not likely even ... Read More »

Intel: Why the US opposes UN calls for a Yemen cease-fire

CNN reported today that the United States is pulling its support for a Yemen cease-fire resolution at the United Nations after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed frustration over language calling for increased humanitarian aid and… Al-Monitor Why it matters: The report indicates that the Donald Trump administration is contradicting its stated policy goal in Yemen, which was to get the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthis to the… US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has signaled for weeks that the ... Read More »

Even a ‘Diplomat’s Diplomat’ Can’t Solve Syria’s Civil War

The United Nations’ Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, is stepping down. Is there any role left for the international community to play in ending Syria’s slaughter? David Kenner The Atlantic BEIRUT—If the only thing you knew about Syria was UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura’s briefing to the Security Council this month, you might assume dramatic events were afoot. There had been an important meeting in Istanbul, he said, while equally vital summits in Astana, Kazakhstan, and of the G-20 countries in ... Read More »

Ukraine imposes martial law after Russia seizes naval ships

Seizure of Ukrainian military boats marks ‘a new stage of aggression’, says president The Irish Times Ukraine on Monday imposed martial law for 30 days in parts of the country most vulnerable to an attack from Russia after president Petro Poroshenkowarned of the “extremely serious” threat of a land invasion. Mr Poroshenko said martial law was necessary to bolster Ukraine’s defences after Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships and took their crews prisoner at the weekend. Parliament approved the introduction of martial law after ... Read More »

Tensions Flare as Ukraine Says Russia Fired on Its Ships

Tensions escalated late Sunday as Ukraine accused Russia of attacking its navy near Crimea. By Aliaksandr Kudrytski , Daryna Krasnolutska , and Ilya Arkhipov Bloomberg Russian warships opened fire on a group of Ukrainian military vessels that had previously tried to enter the Kerch Strait near the disputed peninsula, Ukraine’s Navy said on Facebook. Two men were wounded as the Russians “fired to kill,” according to the statement. Ukraine said three of its ships were captured. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency cabinet meeting ... Read More »

UN Declaration of Human Rights ‘worth celebrating and hanging on to’

Despite “clunkiness in language”, and “lots of references to brotherhood”, the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights is a document that, on its 70th anniversary, remains remarkable, according to a… Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly Speaking last Friday at the Australian Bar Association and NSW Bar Association National Conference, Professor Hilary Charlesworth said that this particular UN Declaration is “remarkable” in that, for the first time, a… Professor Charlesworth, who is the director of the Centre for International Governance and Justice ... Read More »

How to Halt Yemen’s Slide into Famine

A Saudi-led coalition attack on the city of Hodeida risks plunging millions of Yemenis into famine and will meet fierce resistance from Huthi rebels. ICG The U.S. should stop enabling coalition offensives and international stakeholders must quickly place Hodeida under UN control. What’s new?  At the end of October, fighting reached the outer edges of the city of Hodeida, a gateway on Yemen’s Red Sea coast for trade that is a lifeline for some two thirds of the country’s population. ... Read More »

Australia refuses to sign UN migration pact, citing risks to turnbacks and detention

Morrison government says global deal risks reversing ‘hard-won successes in combating the people-smuggling trade’ Paul Karp The Guardian The Morrison government has confirmed it will not sign up to the United Nation’s migration pact, claiming it will undermine Australia’s harsh policies to deter asylum seekers despite Australia’s role in helping to draft it. The Refugee Council of Australia and advocates have strongly rejected the government’s claim, citing the fact the compact is non-binding and has a provision stating that countries ... Read More »

Setback for Rohingya refugees as Bangladeshi repatriation plan stalls

Cox’s Bazar: Bangladesh’s plans to tackle the Rohingya refugee crisis are set to be stalled until the new year with repatriation and relocation programmes only likely be revisited after year-end general elections, a… Zeba Siddiqui Brisbane Times More than 720,000 Rohingya fled a sweeping army crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017, according to UN agencies. The crackdown was launched in response to insurgent Rohingya attacks on… Rohingya refugees say soldiers and Buddhist civilians killed families, burned many villages and carried ... Read More »

Refugees in Uganda: The value of a million human lives

Uganda is a front runner when it comes to forward-looking refugee policy. But financial aid from abroad only trickles in and the situation is worsening. Who should pay — Uganda or the international community? Silja Fröhlich DW In the first half of November, 1,750 new refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan entered Uganda. This brings the total from these two countries for this year to 100,000. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 1.4 million refugees live ... Read More »

US only country in the world to vote against work of UN refugee agency

‘We will detain and prosecute those who enter US territory illegally,’ American ambassador says Harry Cockburn Independent The US has rejected a United Nations resolution on the work of the organisation’s refugee agency (UNHCR), amid American concerns over the document’s provision for immigrants and refugees. It was the only country to block the resolution on Tuesday, with US ambassador for economic and social affairs Kelley Currie saying it would not accept the draft text because parts of the document did ... Read More »