U.N.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 »

UN rights chief calls for major probe into Kashmir abuses

The U.N. human rights chief on June 14 called for a major investigation into abuses in Kashmir, as his office released its first-ever report on violations committed by both India and Pakistan in the… GENEVA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he would urge the Human Rights Council, which opens a new session next week, “to consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry [COI] to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into… A COI is one of the UN’s highest-level probes, generally reserved for ... Read More »

U.S. expected to retreat from main U.N. rights forum: activists, diplomats

GENEVA (Reuters) – Talks with the United States over how to reform the main U.N. rights body have failed to meet Washington’s demands, activists and diplomats say, suggesting that the Trump administration will quit the… Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams A U.S. source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the withdrawal appeared to be “imminent” but had no details. Diplomatic sources said it was not a question of if but of when the United States retreats ... Read More »

Young refugees share what it’s like trying to finish school, find work and get married

In 2012, at 10 years of age, Daahir sat in his school classroom in Mogadishu, Somalia. The sounds of gun shots piercing the air interrupted the lesson. Laura Prazeres The Conversation As Daahir ran back home, he overheard that fighting had erupted between government forces and the militant group Al-Shabab. Daahir arrived home to find his father dead from gunshot wounds. Faced with further threats and imminent violence, Daahir and his family, along with many others, fled their… According to ... Read More »

It’s time to stop giving more rights to global corporations

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published new research that shows that increased market power of global corporations is driving global income inequality. Dr Patricia Ranald Brisbane Times It notes that “in 2009–2015, the surplus profits of the top 1 per cent of publicly listed firms in a new UNCTAD firm-level database represented 55 per cent of recorded operating profits,” and recommends a… This research supports the case against giving corporations greater legal powers to sue governments over changes to domestic ... Read More »

I visited the Rohingya camps in Myanmar and here is what I saw

Myanmar recently claimed to have repatriated its first Rohingya refugee family. Cresa Pugh The Conversation But, as an official from the United Nations noted, the country is still not safe for the return of its estimated 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees, who fled to Bangladesh in 2017 to escape an ongoing state-sponsored military campaign and… Indeed, in recent times, the Myanmar military has been building a fence along the 170-mile border and fortifying it with landmines, to prevent the Rohingya from ... Read More »

Yemen: Averting a Destructive Battle for Hodeida

More than three years into Yemen’s war, a bloody battle looms for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida. ICG International leaders should work for a UN-led negotiated settlement to stop the offensive and, if this fails, take steps to avoid deepening what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. What’s new? Three years into Yemen’s destructive war, a battle is shaping up for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida, a lifeline for the bulk of Yemen’s population. Forces backed by ... Read More »

Deep Freeze and Beyond: Making the Trump-Kim Summit a Success

The greatest risk to the 12 June summit between the U.S. and North Korea is mismatched expectations. ICG To avoid a return to escalatory rhetoric, both parties should keep hopes modest and adopt an action-for-action approach as part of a four-step plan for denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula. What’s new? The on-again, off-again summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is upon us. The parties are in the throes of preparation for the historic 12 ... Read More »

Bangladesh body count mounts; group urges U.N. action to stop drug war

DHAKA/MUMBAI (Reuters) – The death toll in a Bangladeshi “zero tolerance” crackdown on drugs has risen to 140, with about 18,000 people arrested, the government said on Thursday, as a group of activists urged the United Nations to step in to stop the… Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the anti-narcotics campaign in early May to tackle the spread of methamphetamines but the killings have raised fears among rights groups of a bloody Philippine-style campaign to wipe out… “In a manner… ... Read More »

Dr Anwar Gargash: solving the Qatar crisis must involve tackling the ‘trust deficit’

In an exclusive interview, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs says a solution to the Yemen war must be UN-led Naser Al Wasmi and Arthur MacMillan The National The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash has said there will be no backing down over a year-long boycott of Qatar, saying the onus is on Doha to change its policies. In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with The National addressing regional affairs, he said a “deficit of trust” ... Read More »