U.N.

Palestinian refugees lament as Trump funding cuts create job insecurity and a pension crisis

The livelihoods and long-term futures of thousands of Palestinian refugee families across Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank are at risk due to Donald Trump’s catastrophic decision to cut the American donation to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh The Conversation The US president’s decision to contribute only US$60m to UNRWA in 2018 – instead of US$125m – has been widely denounced as a brutal form of collective punishment for the Palestinian ... Read More »

UN backs ‘free, fair, credible’ July elections in Zimbabwe

Vote will be the first big test for Emmerson Mnangagwa who became Zimbabwe’s president in November. Al Jazeera The United Nations has voiced its support for a plan to hold elections in Zimbabwe  in July. The elections, which have not yet received a specific date, will be the first big test of President Emmerson Mnangagwa who became Zimbabwe’s president in November after the military ousted Robert Mugabe, 93, who ruled for 37 years. A statement by UN Development Programme administrator Achim Steiner… UN backs ‘free… Read More »

UN report says Israel a ‘racist state’ and ‘apartheid regime’

Report ‘first of its type’ to conclude ‘apartheid system persecutes Palestinian people’ A UN agency published a report on Wednesday accusing Israel of imposing an “apartheid regime” of racial discrimination on the Palestinian people, and said it was the first time a UN body had clearly made the… The Irish Times Reuters Israel’s foreign ministry spokesman likened the report, published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), to Der Stürmer– a Nazi propaganda publication that was strongly ... Read More »

UN Goodwill Ambassador says Turkish attack on Afrin foreshadows genocide and ethnic cleansing

UN Goodwill Ambassador and ISIS survivor Nadia Murad on Monday called for a ceasefire in Afrin and called on Turkey to stop the attacks on Afrin that so far have killed over 200 civilians. Wladimir van Wilgenburg The Region “Today, I received information that the area of Afrin inhabited by Kurds, Yazidis and Christians is under siege from all sides. There is only one road through which people can leave the city,” she said in a statement. “200 civilians have ... Read More »

UN: Israel settlements in West Bank, Jerusalem ‘war crime’

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein has described Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem as “war crimes”, Quds Press reported yesterday. MEM According to local media, Al-Hussein’s warnings would be part of a report he is to introduce to the UN Security Council on 19 March. “Building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including the social, economic and security facilities given to their residents with the aim to move Zionists to forcefully occupied lands, is a violation ... Read More »

UN moves towards recognising human right to a healthy environment

Formal recognition would help protect those who increasingly risk their lives to defend the land, water, forests and wildlife, says the UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment Jonathan Watts The Guardian It is time for the United Nations to formally recognise the right to a healthy environment, according to the world body’s chief investigator of murders, beatings and intimidation of environmental defenders. John Knox, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, said the momentum for such ... Read More »

Peacekeeping in Ukraine’s Donbas: Opportunities and Risks

The prospect of a UN peacekeeping force in Ukraine’s Donbas offers a rare opening to discuss how to resolve the conflict. ICG But Moscow’s diplomatic overtures also risk fueling political infighting in Kyiv in the run-up to next year’s presidential and parliamentary elections. The war in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region will soon enter its fifth year. In September 2017, talk of a settlement picked up after Russia circulated a draft UN Security Council resolution proposing the deployment of UN forces ... Read More »

Why the world’s view of migrants is wrong-headed

We are bombarded daily with images of poor, desperate migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea in makeshift boats, bodies washed up on shores, concentration camps, and even slave markets in Libya for desperate Africans fleeing poverty and war. Hafed Al-Ghwell Arab News Countless studies, speeches by politicians, and press releases by human rights organizations have filled the pages of traditional and new media. All of this happens, however, without even a hint of an end to this human tragedy, or any ... Read More »

Tamil asylum seeker to be deported after UN committee withdraws torture concerns

Committee earlier requested a halt to Shantaruban’s removal from Australia Ben Doherty The Guardian A Tamil asylum seeker appears set for deportation to Sri Lanka after the UN committee against torture withdrew a request to Australia to halt his removal while it investigated the risk of him being tortured upon return. Shantaruban, currently held in immigration detention in Melbourne, has been in Australia since arriving by boat in 2012. A notice of intention to remove from Australia has been issued ... Read More »

Ukraine submits Memorial on Russia’s violations of Law of the Sea to World Court

The Memorial proves that Russia violated the sovereign rights of Ukraine in the Black, Azov seas and Kerch Strait 112.International On Monday, Feb. 19, Ukraine submitted its Memorial in Arbitration Proceedings against the Russian Federation under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, according to the press service of Ukraine’s MFA. It is noted that since 2014, Russia “has unlawfully excluded Ukraine from exercising its maritime rights; it has exploited Ukraine’s sovereign resources for its own ends; and ... Read More »

Liberal MLA rejects need for UN oversight of Canberra’s ‘places of detention’

The Canberra Liberals have rejected the need for a United Nations subcommittee tasked with protecting inmates from torture to have any oversight of the capital’s prisons, police and court cells. Daniel Burdon The Canberra Times The Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to ensure the ACT can meet the standards of the UN’s optional protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT), after the federal government ratified the rules in December. The new laws will mean UN inspectors will now be ... Read More »

Report: Lebanon Defends Oil Rights, Turns to UNCLOS

Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry is taking steps to refute Israel’s claim about Block 9 oil field reaching to the international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday. by Naharnet Newsdesk “The ministry has issued a letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in March, 2017 announcing that Block 9 is located within Lebanese territorial waters and that Lebanon affirms its right to launch the process of contracting, exploration and ... Read More »

Rohingya abuses could spark regional conflict: UN rights chief

The U.N. human rights chief warned Monday that possible acts of “genocide and ethnic cleansing” against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority could fuel a religious-based conflict that spreads beyond the country’s borders. Hurriyet “Myanmar faces a very serious crisis – with a potentially severe impact on the security of the region,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said during a speech in Jakarta. His remarks follow the publication of a report last week about mass graves of ... Read More »

South Sudan: US bans arms sales and urges others to follow

The United States has banned the export of weapons to South Sudan and has urged other nations and the UN to adopt a global arms embargo BBC It is a largely symbolic move, as the US does not export arms to South Sudan. But the move prevents any US company or citizen from offering defence services to the country. The US has expressed frustration with the failure of South Sudanese leaders to put an end to the country’s four-year civil ... Read More »

30 migrants drown after boat sinks off Yemen: UN

At least 30 African migrants drowned when their boat capsized off war-torn Yemen this week with reports of gunfire being used against those on board, the United Nations said Jan. 26. ADEN – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet At least 152 Somalis and Ethiopians were aboard the overcrowded vessel which left Aden in southern Yemen on Jan. 23, the U.N. refugee and migration agencies said in a joint statement. The vessel is believed to have been operated by unscrupulous smugglers who were ... Read More »

Nikki Haley says Palestine’s Abbas lacks ‘Courage,’ ‘Insulted’ Trump in a fiery U.N. Speech

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday issued a scathing attack on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, charging that he lacks “courage and the will to seek peace” in the Middle East. Tracy Lee Newsweek “We will not chase after a Palestinian leadership that lacks what is needed to achieve peace,” Haley said in a fiery speech at a U.N. Security Council meeting. This comes as U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, ... Read More »