U.N.

Returning from the Land of Jihad: The Fate of Women Associated with Boko Haram

Women are streaming home from Boko Haram’s domain in north-eastern Nigeria, some having escaped captivity and others having left jihadist husbands behind. ICG The state should safeguard these women from abuse, so that they stay in government-held areas and encourage men to come back as well. What’s new? The Nigerian military’s battle with Boko Haram has led tens of thousands of women formerly associated with the group to return to government-held towns across the north east. While prejudice against them ... Read More »

Lively debate on interpreting laws at maritime conference

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea not product of the West or ambiguous, says Tommy Koh Lim Min Zhang The Straits Times Differing interpretations of the international law of the sea took centre stage at a maritime conference yesterday involving academics and navy chiefs from around the world. Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh had a spirited exchange with a Chinese academic over whether the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) had involved input from Asian… During ... Read More »

Letter to Sir Alan Duncan – Cyprus

Sir Alan Duncan MP, Minister for Europe and the Americas, Foreign and Commonwealth Office King Charles St, Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A 2AH                                            London 16 May 2019 Dear Minister, TURKISH LATEST INVASION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS (EEZ) I refer to your latest reply to (Labour) Rt. Hon  Bambos Charalambous’ question in the House of Commons on 14 May 2019 regarding the latest aggressive Turkish action in invading this time the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus. Cyprus “Bambos Charalambous Will ... Read More »

NKorea suffering worst drought in decades

North Korea says it is suffering its worst drought in nearly four decades amid reports of severe food shortages. The Canberra Times Australian Associated Press The official Korean Central News Agency said an average of 54.4 millimetres of rain fell throughout the country in the first five months of this year. It said that is the lowest level since 1982, when North Korea received 51.2mm of rain on average during the same period. The report came after United Nations food ... Read More »

Maritime issues prompt Coast Guard to review law of the sea

To address pressing maritime issues, the Philippine Coast Guard conducted a seminar aimed to review the law of the sea. Betheena Unite Manila Bulletin The one-day seminar was organized by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Coast Guard Staff for Maritime Security Services last May 9 in a bid to refresh their knowledge of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the… According to Capt. Glenda Pereyra, deputy chief of Coast Guard Staff for Maritime Security Services, maritime ... Read More »

Their Islands Are Being Eroded. So Are Their Human Rights, They Say.

Indigenous Australians from low-lying islands in the Torres Strait argue that the government, by failing to act on climate change, has violated their fundamental right to maintain their… Livia Albeck-Ripka The New York Times MASIG ISLAND, Australia — Every weekend, Yessie Mosby visits the sandy, washed-out graves of his ancestors to gather their scattered bones. Their shallow burial place, just yards from the shore of Masig Island, north of mainland Australia, has been eroded by rising seas. “Other parents around the world ... Read More »

ITLOS to make decision on Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia on May 25

(MENAFN – UkrinForm) The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), which on May 10 heard Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia regarding the illegal seizure of three Ukrainian military vessels and… MENAFN ITLOS President Jin-Hyun Paik said this at a hearing on Friday, according to an Ukrinform correspondent. At the end of the hearing, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal announced Ukraine’s demand that Russia immediately release the vessels and return them to Ukraine, suspend… Russia refused to participate ... Read More »

New Zealand passes landmark laws ensuring it will be carbon neutral by 2050

New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern said legislation will tackle climate change but faced opposition from farmers over plans to decrease methane emissions. Reuters SBS New Zealand’s parliament has tabled a landmark bill that will set a target of zero carbon emissions by 2050. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said  the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill is a “landmark action” on climate change. “We know the climate is changing. People can see that,” she said. New Zealand’s government will introduce legislation to tackle climate ... Read More »

I Will Not Stay Silent. Our Leaders Are Failing Human Rights.

I spent four years defending human rights at the U.N. — and they’ve never been more at risk. By Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein The New York Times In the video Op-Ed above, a former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, argues that world leaders are weak, shortsighted and mediocre, and no longer willing or able to defend human rights. Abuses used to be called out and stopped, and human rights offenders had something to fear. Today, they ... Read More »

UN report: Nature is going downhill. Fast.

“Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history—and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely.” Dawn Stover Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists That’s the 10-alarm message from a global assessment report released today by the International Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an… While scientists have long been warning that a mass extinction is under way, this is the most comprehensive report on global biodiversity to date, ... Read More »

Up to a million species are at risk of annihilation – UN report

Sixth wave of extinction dawns as planet’s life-support systems near danger zone Kevin O’Sullivan The Irish Times The destruction of nature threatens humanity at least as much as human-induced climate change, a global report on species loss will warn on Monday. Complied by hundreds of leading specialists on biodiversity loss, the report will provide evidence that the planet’s life-support systems are approaching a danger zone for humanity. Up to a million species are at risk of annihilation, many within decades, ... Read More »

Might China Withdraw From the UN Law Of The Sea Treaty?

The move would come with serious costs – but Beijing might come to think the gains are worth it. Mark J. Valencia The Diplomat The early April passage of the French frigate Vendémiaire through the Taiwan Strait, amid a significant increase of such passages by U.S. warships despite China’s objections, gives Beijing one more reason to… Withdrawing would have serious costs as well as benefits and both need to be considered. The idea of withdrawing from UNCLOS (“denouncing it” in ... Read More »

Council of Despair? The Fragmentation of UN Diplomacy

Wracked by divisions and political infighting, the UN Security Council is failing to respond to some of the world’s most pressing crises. ICG To overcome dysfunction and retain credibility, the council’s members should prioritise the few cases where international cooperation is still possible. What’s new?  Longstanding doubts about the effectiveness of the UN Security Council are intensifying, due to deepening tensions among the U.S. and its allies and between Western powers and Russia and China. Why does it matter?  As ... Read More »

‘Outrage is justified’: David Attenborough backs school climate strikers

Exclusive: broadcaster says older generations have done terrible things and should listen to young Damian Carrington The Guardian The outrage of the students striking from school over climate change inaction is “certainly justified”, according to Sir David Attenborough, who said older generations had done terrible damage to the planet. In an interview with the former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, the broadcaster and naturalist dismissed critics of the widely praised global movement of school strikes as cynics. “[Young people] understand the ... Read More »

US threatens to veto UN resolution on rape as weapon of war, officials say

Exclusive: US warns it will reject measure over language on sexual health in latest example of hardline abortion stance Julian Borger The Guardian The US is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution on combatting the use of rape as a weapon of war because of its language on reproductive and sexual health, according to a senior UN official and European diplomats. The German mission hopes the resolution will be adopted at a special UN security council session on Tuesday on sexual ... Read More »

Peace hopes suffer setback as Taliban-Afghan talks derailed

Hopes for a breakthrough in a push to end Afghanistan’s grueling conflict suffered a major setback on April 19 after a key summit between the Taliban and Afghan officials was indefinitely postponed. Doha Hurriyet The so-called intra-Afghan dialogue, due to take place in Doha this weekend, fell apart at the last minute in a row over the large number of delegates Kabul wanted to send. The collapse comes at a critical time and amid continued bloodshed. The Taliban now control or influence about half of Afghanistan ... Read More »