Russia: Alarm over arrests of military mobilization protesters

In Russia, nearly 2,400 people have reportedly been arrested for protesting against the Kremlin’s mobilisation call-up to fight in Ukraine, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Tuesday. Arrests have happened in various parts of the country, OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani told journalists in Geneva, during a routine briefing. In the Dagestan capital Makhachkala,… Continue reading Russia: Alarm over arrests of military mobilization protesters

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Russia had ‘no choice’ but to launch ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, Lavrov tells UN

Faced with the “inability” of Western countries to negotiate and the Ukrainian Government’s “war against its own people” in the east, Russia had “no choice” but to launch what the Government refers to as its special military operation, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the UN General Assembly on Saturday. The operation launched on 24 February… Continue reading Russia had ‘no choice’ but to launch ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, Lavrov tells UN

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Irish Taoiseach rails against ‘Security Council’s failure to act’ at UN General Assembly

Micheál Martin, the head of the Irish Government, used his General Assembly speech on Thursday to express his frustration at the “Security Council’s failure to act” in tackling a range of peace and security issues. Noting that 2022 is Ireland’s centenary year as a sovereign country, and Mr. Martin pointed out that one of the… Continue reading Irish Taoiseach rails against ‘Security Council’s failure to act’ at UN General Assembly

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With its credibility waning, UN has no choice but to take ‘bold steps’ to modernize, says Cyprus President

Addressing the General Assembly for the final time before leaving office, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday relayed some hard truths about what he saw as shortcomings leading to the “gradual loss of credibility of the United Nations” and called for Member States to generate the political will to reform and modernize the Organization. “How… Continue reading With its credibility waning, UN has no choice but to take ‘bold steps’ to modernize, says Cyprus President

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War crimes have been committed in Ukraine conflict, top UN human rights inquiry reveals

Almost seven months to the day since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, UN-appointed independent human rights investigators said that war crimes have indeed been committed in the conflict. The finding came in the first report by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, which was set up in March this year, at the request of Human… Continue reading War crimes have been committed in Ukraine conflict, top UN human rights inquiry reveals

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Ireland: Rights experts call for redress for 50 years of systemic racism in childcare institutions

Citing information received, 10 experts issued a joint statement saying that systemic racism in childcare institutions between the 1940s and 1990s, has “resulted in the higher institutionalization rate of children of African and Irish descent”. During their prolonged time there, children were exposed to heightened risk of corporal punishment, sexual, physical and verbal abuse, with… Continue reading Ireland: Rights experts call for redress for 50 years of systemic racism in childcare institutions

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Demark rallies wealthy nations to back ‘climate solidarity’, boost financing for hard-hit poor countries

Collectively, “we must address…the fundamental imbalances in the world we share,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said on Thursday, calling for global “climate solidarity” to support vulnerable countries that have suffered “loss and damage” from climate change. The industrialized world must acknowledge its responsibility to deliver on the climate crisis “and we must listen to… Continue reading Demark rallies wealthy nations to back ‘climate solidarity’, boost financing for hard-hit poor countries

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‘The story of 2022 is freedom fighting back’ against aggression, UK Prime Minister Truss says in UN speech

With a full-scale war of aggression under way in Europe, the General Assembly was meeting this year “in a new geopolitical era that demands those who believe in the principles of the United Nations to stand up,” according to Elizabeth Truss, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. “We must fight to defend the ideals of the… Continue reading ‘The story of 2022 is freedom fighting back’ against aggression, UK Prime Minister Truss says in UN speech

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Ukrainian President outlines peace formula that punishes aggression, restores security

“A crime has been committed against Ukraine, and we demand just punishment,” he said in a pre-recorded message to world leaders.   “The crime was committed against our State borders. The crime was committed against the lives of our people. The crime was committed against the dignity of our women and men. The crime was… Continue reading Ukrainian President outlines peace formula that punishes aggression, restores security

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Denouncing Russia’s war in Ukraine, German Chancellor calls for upholding rules-based global order

The international community cannot stand by as a major power uses violence to expand its borders, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, calling on Member States to uphold the founding purposes and principles of the Organization. “There is no justification whatsoever for Russia’s war of occupation against Ukraine,” Mr.… Continue reading Denouncing Russia’s war in Ukraine, German Chancellor calls for upholding rules-based global order

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Türkiye: Ukraine grain export deal among UN’s greatest recent accomplishments

His wide-ranging speech covered issues such as Türkiye’s humanitarian support to other countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and diplomatic efforts on Ukraine, as well as the need for greater collective action to address global challenges including the ripple effects of the war.   The pandemic sparked supply chain problems which had a heavy impact on the… Continue reading Türkiye: Ukraine grain export deal among UN’s greatest recent accomplishments

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The Black Sea Grain Initiative: What it is, and why it’s important for the world

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, exports of grain from Ukraine, as well as food and fertilizers from Russia, have been significantly hit. The disruption in supplies pushed soaring prices even higher and contributed to a global food crisis. The Black Sea Grain Initiative, brokered by the United Nations and Türkiye, was set up to… Continue reading The Black Sea Grain Initiative: What it is, and why it’s important for the world

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Ukraine: UN rights office set to probe ‘mass graves’ in newly liberated east

Reports that mass graves have been discovered in the Ukrainian city of Izyum are to be investigated by UN rights monitors, it’s been announced. The development follows the liberation of eastern areas of Ukraine during the on-going counter-offensive, previously held by Russian or Russian-backed forces. The @UN delivered today food, water, hygiene & shelter kits,… Continue reading Ukraine: UN rights office set to probe ‘mass graves’ in newly liberated east

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Ukraine: More than 14,000 casualties to date but ‘actual numbers are likely considerably higher’

Matilda Bogner was presenting some of the findings of its latest report to journalists in Geneva, Switzerland.  The conflict is now in its seventh month and her team has corroborated 14,059 civilian casualties to date, with 5,767 people killed and 8,292 injured.  “As we have repeatedly said, we know that actual numbers are likely considerably… Continue reading Ukraine: More than 14,000 casualties to date but ‘actual numbers are likely considerably higher’

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Ukraine: UN committee ‘gravely concerned’ over treatment of people with disabilities

In a special report on the situation of people with disabilities in Ukraine, Jonas Ruskus, Vice-Chair of the committee said he was “gravely concerned” about the situation of people with disabilities in the country, since its invasion on 24 February. Mr. Ruskus told a news conference in Geneva that they are being kept in “inhuman conditions” and… Continue reading Ukraine: UN committee ‘gravely concerned’ over treatment of people with disabilities

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Spain: Former Catalan Parliament leaders’ political rights violated, say UN experts

By suspending former Catalan government and parliament members from public duties prior to them being convicted, following the independence referendum back in 2017, Spain violated their political rights, the UN Human Rights Committee said in a statement published on Wednesday. The findings by the group of independent human rights experts were published after revision of… Continue reading Spain: Former Catalan Parliament leaders’ political rights violated, say UN experts

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Russia’s war with Ukraine needs to end, UN’s Bachelet urges Vladimir Putin

UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet on Thursday urged Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to end the country’s war against Ukraine, while also calling for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to be immediately demilitarized. Speaking to journalists in Geneva just days before her term as High Commissioner for Human Rights comes to an end, Ms. Bachelet… Continue reading Russia’s war with Ukraine needs to end, UN’s Bachelet urges Vladimir Putin

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Ukraine: UN agencies deliver food, health and other support amid fighting

Matilda Bogner, head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, called for greater efforts to spare and protect civilians.  The Mission has been in the country since 2014, when it began work documenting violations in the east stemming from the fighting between Government forces and pro-Russian separatists. Ms. Bogner said the resulting escalation… Continue reading Ukraine: UN agencies deliver food, health and other support amid fighting

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UN chief ends Europe trip with visit to ‘vessels of hope’

Mr. Guterres flew into Istanbul on Saturday morning from Chisinau, Moldova – where he was hosted for a working dinner with President Maia Sandu the previous evening – and boarded a pilot boat in the Sea of Marmara, where he sailed next to the M/V Brave Commander, the World Food Programme (WFP) ship which picked… Continue reading UN chief ends Europe trip with visit to ‘vessels of hope’

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Grain deal ‘victory for diplomacy,’ UN chief tells journalists in Ukraine

Speaking at a press conference alongside Presidents Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Türkiye, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to visit “again during such a difficult period”.  Despite that the Black Sea Grain Initiative was signed a few weeks ago, the UN chief reiterated that “there is no solution to the global food crisis without ensuring full global… Continue reading Grain deal ‘victory for diplomacy,’ UN chief tells journalists in Ukraine

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UN chief pays second call on Ukraine, will visit grain-exporting Black Sea Port

Secretary-General António Guterres arrived on Wednesday to Lviv, the largest city in Western Ukraine. “Tomorrow, he will join President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a meeting hosted by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine,” UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told a regular press briefing in New York. “He will go on to visit Odesa and then Istanbul… Continue reading UN chief pays second call on Ukraine, will visit grain-exporting Black Sea Port

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Children with disabilities disproportionately impacted by war in Ukraine 

“The terrible tragedy of war highlights historic policy choices made in the past that badly affect children with disabilities,” the Special Rapporteurs said. The independent experts flagged that “Ukraine faces the daunting task of reinventing many of its social and economic systems when this war is finally brought to an end”. Raising the alarm The… Continue reading Children with disabilities disproportionately impacted by war in Ukraine 

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More breathing devices needed for premature babies born in Ukraine 

“The war increases levels of stress in pregnant women, which leads to an increase in the number of premature births reported,” Herve Verhoosel, Spokesperson for global health agency Unitaid, told journalists at a regular WHO press briefing.    The war in #Ukraine has increased the number of premature births. Premature babies are more likely to suffer… Continue reading More breathing devices needed for premature babies born in Ukraine 

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Ukraine struggling now, but winter will be even worse: UNHCR chief

While the Russian military advance in eastern Ukraine continues to escalate, the UN refugee agency, UNCHR, on Thursday warned that the winter months are very likely to be extremely harsh on millions of people affected by the war. Since the Russian invasion on 24 February, more than 11.5 million people have had to flee their… Continue reading Ukraine struggling now, but winter will be even worse: UNHCR chief

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Belarus ‘engulfed in fear’, Human Rights Council hears

Presenting her annual report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Anaïs Marin, Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus, pointed to Government policies that have systematically tightened legislation and restricted civil and political rights. She said it was a trend that has continued in the two years since the UN rights office,… Continue reading Belarus ‘engulfed in fear’, Human Rights Council hears

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Bosnia and Herzegovina: UN rights chief urges leaders to ‘turn the page on rhetoric’

The four-day mission marked the first visit by a UN human rights High Commissioner in more than two decades, and she noted that some of the same rights challenges from that era persist today. Ms. Bachelet hailed an “unprecedented ruling” handed down this week, sentencing three people for incitement to hatred for singing songs threatening violence.… Continue reading Bosnia and Herzegovina: UN rights chief urges leaders to ‘turn the page on rhetoric’

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Ukraine: Russian Nobel winner praises UNICEF as ‘excellent’ choice to distribute $103.5 million auction proceeds

The Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov who auctioned off his gold medal to raise money for child refugees on Monday, has told UN News that the record-breaking sale of $103.5 million proved that “sometimes humanity can come together, and show solidarity”. The editor in chief of the independent Russian news service, Novaya Gazeta –… Continue reading Ukraine: Russian Nobel winner praises UNICEF as ‘excellent’ choice to distribute $103.5 million auction proceeds

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Ukraine: After 100 days of war, UN works to free up vital food and fertilizer exports

Amin Awad, UN Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine, confirmed that the Organization was making every effort to secure the release of grain stuck in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Equally important for the world’s farmers is a secure supply of fertilizer from Russia, a major world producer. Leading the discussions are top UN officials Martin Griffiths –… Continue reading Ukraine: After 100 days of war, UN works to free up vital food and fertilizer exports

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Interview: ‘Any way you look at it, wars are evil’, UN Ukraine Crisis chief

Amin Awad was appointed the UN Crisis Coordinator in Ukraine by Secretary-General António Guterres in February, following the Russian attack on the country. Marking 100 days since the 24 February Russian invasion of Ukraine, UN News spoke exclusively and in-depth to Mr. Awad, who explained what the UN is doing to try to end the… Continue reading Interview: ‘Any way you look at it, wars are evil’, UN Ukraine Crisis chief

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Europe: WHO supporting countries affected by rare monkeypox outbreak

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working closely with European countries where cases of the rare viral disease monkeypox have been reported, the UN agency said on Friday. Monkeypox occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa, but outbreaks have emerged in other parts of the world in recent days. Symptoms include fever,… Continue reading Europe: WHO supporting countries affected by rare monkeypox outbreak

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Minimal risk of monkeypox transmission in UK following confirmed case

On 7 May, UK health authorities notified WHO of the confirmed case in an individual who had recently returned to the country from Nigeria.  Monkeypox is a viral disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa.  It is occasionally exported to other regions.  Modes of transmission  The monkeypox virus is… Continue reading Minimal risk of monkeypox transmission in UK following confirmed case

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Russia in spotlight over Ukraine atrocities as Human Rights Council meets

Amid a mounting number of reports and testimonies pointing to possible war crimes in Ukraine particularly in areas controlled until recently by Russian forces, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that the pattern of abuses continued to be caused “by the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas, such as shelling from heavy artillery,… Continue reading Russia in spotlight over Ukraine atrocities as Human Rights Council meets

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Ukraine: UN rights office probe spotlights harrowing plight of civilians  

Almost 76 days since Russia invaded Ukraine, countless civilians remain caught up in the horror and destruction of war, UN rights investigators said on Tuesday.  The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine confirmed that more than 3,380 civilians have been killed since 24 February, and over 3,680 injured.  “We heard about snipers on roofs… Continue reading Ukraine: UN rights office probe spotlights harrowing plight of civilians  

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7.7 million people displaced inside Ukraine, warns UN relief chief, as aid conference raises $6.5 billion

Mr. Griffiths was addressing the International Donor Conference for Ukraine in Warsaw. Co-hosted by Poland and Sweden, in cooperation with the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council. The conference raised a reported $6.5 billion. According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, more than 5.7 million people have now fled across Ukraine’s borders… Continue reading 7.7 million people displaced inside Ukraine, warns UN relief chief, as aid conference raises $6.5 billion

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Ukraine: Journalists targeted and in danger, warn top rights experts

Journalists in Ukraine have been targeted and continue to face unprecedented dangers carrying out their work in the wake of the Russian invasion, top independent rights experts said on Wednesday. The alert from UN-appointed independent rights experts, including the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, cited “numerous reports” that journalists have been “targeted, tortured, kidnapped, attacked and killed,… Continue reading Ukraine: Journalists targeted and in danger, warn top rights experts

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Kinder brand chocolates now linked to salmonella poisoning in 11 countries

Eleven mainly European countries have now reported salmonella food poisoning, linked to popular “Kinder” chocolate products produced in Belgium, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that there have been more than 150 suspected cases of salmonellosis – from Belgium to the US – after United Kingdom regulators… Continue reading Kinder brand chocolates now linked to salmonella poisoning in 11 countries

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Ukraine: UN relief chief joins call for probe after ‘horrifying’ visit to Bucha

Martin Griffiths was in Bucha and in Irpin, both located outside the capital, Kyiv, accompanied by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Olha Stefanishyna.  Mass graves and destruction  The relief chief described the visit as “horrifying”, said UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, speaking during his daily briefing in New York.  “He saw a mass grave with bodies… Continue reading Ukraine: UN relief chief joins call for probe after ‘horrifying’ visit to Bucha

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World football goes for goal, in aid of Ukraine

The Football for Ukraine Emergency Appeal, #football4Ukraine, is led by the two UN agencies, together with six leading footballers – three of whom are former refugees – aiming to raise funds to help those on the run, inside and outside wartorn Ukraine.  Football stars and Goodwill Ambassadors The video-appeal includes players from across the English… Continue reading World football goes for goal, in aid of Ukraine

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First Person: Coping with Ukraine’s health crisis

“Since 2014 [when Russian annexed Crimea, and the conflict in the east of the country began], 3.4 million people in the Donbas region of south-eastern Ukraine have needed health-related humanitarian assistance. In addition, when I started working here, the measles outbreak in the country was the second largest in the world, before our team helped… Continue reading First Person: Coping with Ukraine’s health crisis

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Ukraine: Magnitude of civilian casualties demands investigation and accountability, Security Council hears

Law ‘crystal clear’ 3.1 million people have now fled Ukraine. As more and more seek safety, our Assistant High Commissioner for Operations @RaoufMazou addressed the UN Security Council. “We can and must do more to support and we must do it now.” pic.twitter.com/x7pzkWRPZE — UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) March 17, 2022 “Civilians are… Continue reading Ukraine: Magnitude of civilian casualties demands investigation and accountability, Security Council hears

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Ukraine war creating a child refugee almost every second: UNICEF

Almost one child per second in Ukraine is becoming a refugee of the war, UN humanitarians said on Tuesday, as the total number of people who have now fled the country since the Russian invasion began, passed three million. “We have now reached three million mark in terms of movements of people out of Ukraine… Continue reading Ukraine war creating a child refugee almost every second: UNICEF

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To attack babies is ‘an act of unconscionable cruelty’: UN top officials urge end to attacks on health care in Ukraine

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, 31 attacks on health care have been documented by the World Health Organization. These incidents have killed and injured civilians, as well as destroyed facilities and ambulances, disrupting access to essential health services. “Today, we call for an immediate cessation of all attacks on health care in Ukraine. These horrific attacks… Continue reading To attack babies is ‘an act of unconscionable cruelty’: UN top officials urge end to attacks on health care in Ukraine

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UN rights experts raise alarm over Russia’s ‘choking’ media clampdown at home

The recent adoption by Russia of a punitive “fake war news” law is an alarming move by the Government to gag and blindfold an entire population, independent UN human rights experts said on Friday. The same law introduces penalties for “discrediting” and “calling for obstruction” of the use of the Russian armed forces. The maximum… Continue reading UN rights experts raise alarm over Russia’s ‘choking’ media clampdown at home

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Belarus: UN report reveals extent of violations in human rights crackdown

The Belarusian Government’s continuing crackdown on political opponents, civil society, journalists and lawyers has seen the fundamental human rights of tens of thousands violated, with no sign of any of the perpetrators being held accountable, the UN rights office, OHCHR, reported on Wednesday. The report details the findings of OHCHR’s examination of the human right situation in Belarus, mandated… Continue reading Belarus: UN report reveals extent of violations in human rights crackdown

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Human Rights Council to establish Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine

In a resolution adopted on Friday, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva agreed to establish a commission to investigate violations committed during Russia’s military attack on Ukraine.  Thirty-two countries voted in favour of the resolution, which was presented by Ukraine.  Russia and Eritrea voted against it, while 13 nations abstained.  #HRC49 | The @UN🇺🇳… Continue reading Human Rights Council to establish Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine

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Clampdowns in Russia signal ‘a State that fears the power of human rights’ – Guterres 

The development in Geneva echoed the concern of the Security Council, which on Sunday called for an emergency session of the General Assembly on the crisis.  Addressing the Human Rights Council, Ukraine Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Yevheniia Filipenko, outlined the death and suffering caused, as talks were under way at the Belorussian border between Ukraine and Russia .  The… Continue reading Clampdowns in Russia signal ‘a State that fears the power of human rights’ – Guterres 

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UN to launch appeal to fund humanitarian operations in Ukraine

Secretary-General António Guterres has announced that the UN will launch an appeal to fund its humanitarian operations in Ukraine, amid reports on Saturday of casualties and people fleeing their homes to seek safety as Russian military operations in the country intensify. A readout issued by a UN spokesperson said that Mr. Guterres had spoken on… Continue reading UN to launch appeal to fund humanitarian operations in Ukraine

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France violated rights of French children detained in Syrian camps

France has violated the rights of French children detained for years in camps in northeast Syria by failing to repatriate them, the UN Child Rights Committee said in findings issued on Thursday.  The Committee had considered three cases filed by a group of French nationals whose grandchildren, nieces and nephews are currently being held in… Continue reading France violated rights of French children detained in Syrian camps

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Concern over low vaccination rates as ‘Omicron tidal wave’ floods Eastern Europe, Central Asia

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) top official in Europe on Tuesday called on governments and health authorities to “closely examine” why there is low demand and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines, as an “Omicron tidal wave” slams countries in the east of the region. Over the past two weeks, cases of the virus have more than… Continue reading Concern over low vaccination rates as ‘Omicron tidal wave’ floods Eastern Europe, Central Asia

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WHO alert over childhood cancer inequalities in Europe

The new WHO report sets out for the first time the scale of childhood cancer inequalities in the European Region and examines the patterns that emerge at national and regional levels surrounding the disease. “Childhood cancer inequalities in the WHO European Region” was launched on International Childhood Cancer Day marked each 15 February, and it… Continue reading WHO alert over childhood cancer inequalities in Europe

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Ukraine conflict affecting children’s mental health: UNICEF

Two children – Illia, 15, and Afina, 9 – have shared how although they do not bear any physical scars from the war, now in its eighth year, mortar shells and shrapnel have left them with invisible wounds that are nonetheless painful.  “My life has changed a lot,” said Illia. “If it hadn’t been for… Continue reading Ukraine conflict affecting children’s mental health: UNICEF

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Urgent action needed to protect Vietnamese workers trafficked to Serbia

Urgent action is required to assist and protect some 400 Vietnamese migrant workers who were allegedly trafficked to Serbia, experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council said on Friday.  Eight companies, including Vietnamese labour recruitment agencies and Chinese construction firms registered in Serbia, have reportedly been implicated in serious human rights abuses, they said,… Continue reading Urgent action needed to protect Vietnamese workers trafficked to Serbia

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UN rights office warns against rising hate speech in Western Balkans

Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in neighbouring Serbia, must condemn and refrain from any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Friday.  Spokesperson Liz Throssell said OHCHR was deeply concerned by recent incidents in both countries which saw individuals glorify atrocity crimes and convicted war criminals,… Continue reading UN rights office warns against rising hate speech in Western Balkans

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Three separate shipwrecks leave dozens dead and more missing 

At least 31 people lost their lives in three separate shipwrecks over the course of four days last week in the Aegean Sea, and an unknown number are still missing, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday.   According to the UN agency, between 21 and 24 December more than 160 people were rescued by Greece’s Hellenic… Continue reading Three separate shipwrecks leave dozens dead and more missing 

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Rights experts hear how ‘racialized gatekeeping’ impacts development in France

France should consider the economic and development benefits of partnership with people of African descent, the head of a Working Group appointed by the UN Human Rights Council said in a statement on Monday.  Dominique Day, chairperson of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, was speaking in the wake of its visit… Continue reading Rights experts hear how ‘racialized gatekeeping’ impacts development in France

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COVID-19: WHO urges Europeans to be smart and safe this holiday season

In a message on Thursday, WHO Regional Director Hans Kluge urged Europeans to “be smart, be kind, be safe this holiday season.”  The COVID-19 threat remains high across the continent, which was already the epicentre of the pandemic even before the emergence of the new Omicron variant.   Use the tools  “My message to the… Continue reading COVID-19: WHO urges Europeans to be smart and safe this holiday season

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Fundamental freedoms squeezed in Ukraine, Human Rights Council hears

The UN Human Rights Council heard on Wednesday that fundamental freedoms in Ukraine have been squeezed in Government-controlled areas, as well as across the contact line in eastern territories, held by mainly pro-Russian separatists.  Addressing the Council in Geneva amid steadily increasing international tensions over Ukraine, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif, said… Continue reading Fundamental freedoms squeezed in Ukraine, Human Rights Council hears

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Croatia: Decades after Balkan wars, UN expert urges new push for justice

Following armed conflict from1991 to 1994 in Croatia and the rest of former Yugoslavia, that triggered increased radicalization and hate speech, an independent UN human rights expert urged the authorities on Thursday to redouble efforts towards full justice for victims and survivors. “It is important that the Government gives an unequivocal sign to society and… Continue reading Croatia: Decades after Balkan wars, UN expert urges new push for justice

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Women under fire in Belarus, activists tortured and exiled – UN expert

While women in Belarus overall are being denied rights and freedoms, female political activists are subjected to enforced disappearances, torture, ill-treatment and exile, an independent UN human rights expert told the General Assembly on Tuesday. “The Government’s efforts to promote some rights of women at a policy level are rarely translated into concrete advancement of… Continue reading Women under fire in Belarus, activists tortured and exiled – UN expert

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Recent Kosovo-Serbia tensions could ‘unravel steady but fragile progress’ 

Tensions over vehicle licence plates and anti-smuggling operations, between authorities in Kosovo and Serbia, in recent weeks, may contribute to unravelling “steady but fragile progress made in rebuilding trust among communities” in Kosovo and Serbia.   The warning came from Special Representative and head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Zahir Tanin, in a briefing to the Security Council on Friday.   “[These events] are of deep concern… Continue reading Recent Kosovo-Serbia tensions could ‘unravel steady but fragile progress’ 

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France focuses on responsibility and solidarity in the face of global challenges

“We have a collective responsibility in maintaining international peace and security.  We have a shared responsibility in tackling today’s major challenges and we have a responsibility to individually each uphold the values that unite us,” he said in a pre-recorded message. “For France, this is what this historic period of turbulence that we’re experiencing calls… Continue reading France focuses on responsibility and solidarity in the face of global challenges

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Alarm bells are ringing over conflict, COVID and climate, ‘now we must respond’, Ireland tells UN Assembly 

Looking back over the first four days of the high-level week, the Ireland’s Prime Minister said a series of alarms have sounded in the Hall of the General Assembly: for conflict, for COVID, for climate.   “We have heard the alarms. Now we must respond,” said Micheál Martin. “I believe that this is what the General Assembly, our Assembly of Nations, was created to do. Our purpose, our obligation.”  For the… Continue reading Alarm bells are ringing over conflict, COVID and climate, ‘now we must respond’, Ireland tells UN Assembly 

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Cyprus President determined to get negotiation with Turkey process back on track

Cyprus has been divided for more than four decades, and leaders from its Greek and Turkish communities last met in 2019 at an UN-facilitated conference in Berlin.  He stressed that there is only one plan: to reach a settlement on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, as set out in relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in line with the… Continue reading Cyprus President determined to get negotiation with Turkey process back on track

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‘The adolescence of humanity is coming to an end’, declares UK Prime Minister

In his speech to the high-level debate at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that it is time for mankind to grow up and take responsibility for the damage we are inflicting on the planet. The human species, said Mr. Johnson, is nearing the end of the adolescent phase… Continue reading ‘The adolescence of humanity is coming to an end’, declares UK Prime Minister

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International community must harness momentum created by triple crises and act, says Norway

“All of them call for a coordinated response. All of them underline why we need international cooperation. We need to remind ourselves of our collective strength,” she said in a pre-recorded message.  Remembering that “the United Nations was born out of crisis”, she said “crises have the potential to increase unity and resolve” and the world “must harness the… Continue reading International community must harness momentum created by triple crises and act, says Norway

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‘Through the tears, solutions for a better society have sprung up’: Estonian President

The President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, lauded the world’s embrace of online services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, in her high-level General Debate speech at the 76th United Nations General Assembly session. Ms. Kaljulaid said that, although many conversations on digital development have been curtailed, online events have continued to provide solutions… Continue reading ‘Through the tears, solutions for a better society have sprung up’: Estonian President

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UN agencies shocked by deaths near Belarus-Poland border 

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and migration agency IOM, called on Tuesday for an immediate investigation into the deaths of four people near the border between Poland and Belarus, due to causes yet to be determined.   In a joint statement, the agencies expressed their condolences to the families of the deceased, all of whose nationalities have yet to be confirmed, although two of the victims… Continue reading UN agencies shocked by deaths near Belarus-Poland border 

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IOM concerned for migrants facing ‘dire conditions’ at EU-Belarus border

Migrants are facing “dire conditions” at the European Union-Belarus border, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) warned on Monday.  Reports of cross-border pushbacks and lack of adequate asylum access for those seeking international protections, shelter and assistance, were “particularly alarming”, according to the UN agency. Many migrants have been stranded at the EU-Belarus border in… Continue reading IOM concerned for migrants facing ‘dire conditions’ at EU-Belarus border

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Trials of former Spanish judge lack independence, impartiality: landmark case

Former Judge Baltasar Garzón of the Spanish National Court was suspended in 2010 and criminally prosecuted and tried in 2012 for alleged willful abuse of power in two cases of major political significance at the national level. In the first case, Mr. Garzón assumed jurisdiction to investigate enforced disappearances during the Civil War and the dictatorship of General… Continue reading Trials of former Spanish judge lack independence, impartiality: landmark case

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UK plan thwarts access to truth over Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’

Two independent experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday expressed serious concern over a United Kingdom plan to end prosecutions for grave violations committed during the 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland, long known as “the Troubles”.  The move was announced by Brandon Lewis, UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in July,… Continue reading UK plan thwarts access to truth over Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’

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Cyprus communities weaving closer ties through UN-backed project

Hande Toycan, who is Turkish-Cypriot, and Flora Hadjigeorgiou, a Greek-Cypriot, are among the many women who partner with the UN on the Mediterranean island to strengthen engagement, equality and stability.  A shared bond  Ms. Toycan was born and raised in the northern city of Famagusta, and still lives there.  She is a member of the… Continue reading Cyprus communities weaving closer ties through UN-backed project

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Security Council calls for ‘immediate reversal’ of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot decision on Varosha 

The Security Council said in a statement released on Friday that settling any part of the abandoned Cypriot suburb of Varosha, “by people other than its inhabitants, is “inadmissible”.  The presidential statement approved by all 15 Security Council members, upheld that “no actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha, that are not in accordance with its resolutions”.  “The Security Council condemns the… Continue reading Security Council calls for ‘immediate reversal’ of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot decision on Varosha 

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FROM THE FIELD: A genocide timeline; Srebrenica massacre remembered

Survivors of a massacre of mainly Muslims in the former Yugoslavia, and people associated with the perpetrators of what has become known as the Srebrenica genocide, have been telling their stories in a new exhibition by the United Nations, released 26 years after the events took place. Some 8,000 boys and men were killed by… Continue reading FROM THE FIELD: A genocide timeline; Srebrenica massacre remembered

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EU urged to consider impact of new climate mechanism on developing countries

Although a new European Union (EU) climate initiative unveiled on Wednesday could change global trade patterns to favour countries where production is relatively carbon efficient, its value in mitigating climate change will likely be limited, the UN trade and development agency, UNCTAD, has warned.  The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) comes into force in 2023 as part of new measures to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, including… Continue reading EU urged to consider impact of new climate mechanism on developing countries

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Belarus: ‘Full-scale assault’ ongoing against civil society amid massive human rights violations

Belarus has witnessed an unprecedented human rights crisis over the past year, the independent expert appointed to monitor the country said on Monday, calling on authorities to immediately end their policy of repression and fully respect the legitimate aspirations of their people. Belarus has witnessed an unprecedented human rights crisis over the past year, the… Continue reading Belarus: ‘Full-scale assault’ ongoing against civil society amid massive human rights violations

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Delta variant drives Africa COVID threat to ‘whole new level´: WHO warns; ‘dominant’ in Europe by August

Along with Alpha and Beta, Delta is fuelling an aggressive third wave across Africa, with case numbers climbing faster than all earlier peaks, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  WHO experts warned on Thursday that the numbers have increased for six consecutive weeks, up by 25% last week, reaching 202,000 positive cases. Deaths also… Continue reading Delta variant drives Africa COVID threat to ‘whole new level´: WHO warns; ‘dominant’ in Europe by August

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UN chief urges European Parliament to support COVID vaccines for all

The European Union (EU) must use its leverage to ensure people everywhere have access to COVID-19 vaccines, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday.  In a wide-ranging multilingual speech to the European Parliament in Brussels, the UN chief underscored the need to ramp up vaccinations globally.  “The pandemic is causing more deaths today than a… Continue reading UN chief urges European Parliament to support COVID vaccines for all

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Security Council urged to bring multilateralism ‘alive’, to tackle serious global challenges 

Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that without “global cooperation based on agreed rules” we risk “the law of the jungle, where problems don’t get solved”.  “Every day we see the cost of the absence of multilateral action: reduced access to vaccines, insufficient climate action, peace and security crises… Continue reading Security Council urged to bring multilateralism ‘alive’, to tackle serious global challenges 

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