Afghanistan: MSF demands explanations after deadly airstrikes hit hospital in Kunduz
Published Oct 3, 2015 - 9:07:07 AM
The international medical organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrific aerial bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Twelve staff members and at least seven patients, including three children, were killed; 37 people were injured including 19 staff members. This attack constitutes a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law.
Water problem hotspots demand effective new approaches to international cooperation: UN University
Published Oct 2, 2015 - 9:23:22 AM
The importance of international cooperation in freshwater management is growing with world population and changes to global climate and weather patterns, warns a new report from UN University.
Citing Israeli violations, Palestinian leader renounces security, political accords at UN Assembly
Published Oct 2, 2015 - 8:51:35 AM
On the day that the Palestinian flag was raised at United Nations Headquarters for the first time, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today renounced political and security accords with Israel, saying it must now resume its responsibilities as occupying Power, due to its continual violations of the 20-year-old agreements.
Western Balkans: Vulnerable migrants exposed to more risks as winter approaches, warns IFRC
Published Oct 2, 2015 - 8:45:24 AM
Vulnerable migrants in the Western Balkans and across Europe are facing increasingly difficult conditions with the arrival of heavy rains and cold weather. Average temperatures in the region in winter months generally drop below freezing and range from -3 to -6 degrees Celsius. The change in conditions brings with it severe health and safety risks to people who have already travelled thousands of miles, often with limited access to food, basic necessities, shelter or health care.
Super El Niño and climate change cause crop failures putting millions at risk of hunger
Published Oct 1, 2015 - 10:11:12 AM
At least ten million poor people face hunger this year and next due to droughts and erratic rains, influenced by climate change and the likely development of a ‘super El Niño’.
People around the world take action in support of Brazil’s anti-fracking campaign
Published Oct 1, 2015 - 8:42:24 AM
On Sunday, October 4, activists and opponents of fracking (Fracktivists) from 28 countries including Portugal, England and Spain will demonstrate outside Brazilian Embassies and consulates, as well as in front the headquarters of fossil fuel companies involved in a new auction of fracking exploration rights organized by the Brazilian government. In Brazil, actions in different cities will take place across the states of Paraná, Bahia, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso, Acre and the Federal District.
Small islands remain ‘humanity’s moral compass,’ leaders tell UN, urging action on climate change
Published Sep 30, 2015 - 11:44:24 AM
The President of the Dominican Republic, among other leaders of small island developing States addressing the General Assembly today, noted the importance of tackling climate change as a key part of the broader work of ensuring sustainable development for all.
Former Guantanamo Prisoner Petitions Human Rights Commission Over U.S. Abuses
Published Sep 30, 2015 - 10:11:41 AM
Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) urged the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to declare that the United States violated former Guantanamo detainee Djamel Ameziane’s human rights and to recommend relief, including appropriate compensation and other reparations. This is the first case in which the IACHR will decide the merits of claims against the United States arising from the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
World’s First Deep Sea Mining Proposal Ignores Consequences for Oceans
Published Sep 29, 2015 - 8:50:55 AM
As the deep sea mining industry chases investors at the Asia Pacific Deep Sea Mining Summit, a new critique by the Deep Sea Mining Campaign reveals indefensible flaws in the Environmental and Social Benchmarking Analysis of the Solwara 1 project commissioned by Nautilus Minerals. The proposed Solwara 1 deep sea mine, situated in the Bismarck Sea of Papua New Guinea, is the world’s first to receive an operating licence.
Every 9 Minutes, Someone in the World Dies of Rabies
Published Sep 29, 2015 - 8:26:18 AM
A human death from rabies is a tragic but rare thing in the United States and most developed nations. It’s just as tragic but sadly common in parts of the world where some 3 billion people are at risk of being bitten by a rabid dog. More than 59,000 people die of rabies each year because they cannot get the care they need. That’s about 1 person dying of rabies every 9 minutes.
Global Goals provide opportunity to ‘quicken pace of action’ to end AIDS epidemic by 2030 – UN
Published Sep 28, 2015 - 7:22:22 AM
Speaking at United Nations Headquarters in New York, the leaders of Kenya and Malawi co-hosted today with the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) a high-level panel discussion on scaling up efforts to end the epidemic by 2030.
Tackling water-related challenges an ‘urgent task’ as world moves forward on Global Goals – UN deputy chief
Published Sep 28, 2015 - 7:19:18 AM
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson today urged swift action on the newly-adopted Global Goals directly related to the protection and equitable use of the planet’s precious water resources, as discussion continued at UN Headquarters on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Further use of nuclear weapons would be ‘horrific,’ Ban says on 70th anniversary of the first and last use of a nuclear weapon
Published Sep 28, 2015 - 7:10:55 AM
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today highlighted that 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the first and last use of a nuclear weapon in war, as he renewed his call for complete global nuclear disarmament.
States and businesses must prevent harm from highly hazardous pesticides – UN experts
Published Sep 28, 2015 - 7:09:14 AM
Two United Nations experts on hazardous substance and waste and right to food have called today for an immediate worldwide phase-out on use of highly hazardous pesticides that are inflicting significant damage on human health and the environment.
Pope's climate push is 'raving nonsense' without population control, says top US scientist
Full story: The Guardian UK
UN adopts new Global Goals, charting sustainable development for people and planet by 2030
Published Sep 26, 2015 - 9:20:32 AM
The 193-Member United Nations General Assembly today formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with a set of bold new Global Goals, which Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed as a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world.
Migrants / Human rights: Official visit to Australia postponed due to protection concerns
Published Sep 25, 2015 - 12:00:46 PM
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Francois Crépeau, today announced the postponement of his planned official visit to Australia due to the lack of full cooperation from the Government regarding protection concerns and access to detention centres.
Video explainer: EU refugee deal - a little perspective?
Published Sep 25, 2015 - 7:47:42 AM
At the end of a long summer that has seen record numbers of migrants and refugees arriving on Europe’s shores, EU member states are still deeply divided in their response to the crisis. This week, they agreed to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers from over-burdened frontline states like Greece and Italy to other EU countries over the next two years, despite four countries voting against the deal. This IRIN film puts this latest figure into a bit of perspective.
Parents of Saudi juvenile set for ‘crucifixion’ plead for mercy, amid UK and US silence
Published Sep 24, 2015 - 12:45:12 PM
The family of a juvenile sentenced to ‘crucifixion’ in Saudi Arabia have appealed to the Saudi authorities to spare him, as pressure mounts on the US and the UK to intervene.
President Xi Jinping meeting with US tech giants highlights challenges of doing business in China under censorship regime
Published Sep 23, 2015 - 11:49:41 AM
The State visit of President Xi Jinping to the United States features today a major forum hosted by the Chinese leader involving the CEOs of leading US high tech firms including Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook and IBM.
Fossil fuel companies face landmark national human rights complaint on climate change
Published Sep 22, 2015 - 1:32:21 PM
Typhoon survivors and civil society groups in the Philippines today delivered a complaint to the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR) calling for an investigation into the responsibility of big fossil fuel companies for fuelling catastrophic climate change resulting in human rights violations.
Study: Fukushima disaster was preventable
Published Sep 22, 2015 - 10:04:33 AM
In the peer-reviewed Philosophical Transactions A of the Royal Society, researchers Costas Synolakis of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and Utku Kâno?lu of the Middle East Technical University in Turkey distilled thousands of pages of government and industry reports and hundreds of news stories, focusing on the run-up to the disaster. They found that "arrogance and ignorance," design flaws, regulatory failures and improper hazard analyses doomed the costal nuclear power plant even before the tsunami hit.
Strong, Fair Indian Climate Action Can Save Lives, Cash and Create Jobs: New Reports
Published Sep 22, 2015 - 8:00:32 AM
India stands to reap more green jobs, slash deaths from air pollution and save money from avoided fuel imports should the country embrace an ambitious climate action plan.
Indigenous organizations reject calls to forcibly contact uncontacted tribes
Published Sep 21, 2015 - 7:28:38 PM
In an open letter, Indian organizations from Brazil, Peru and Paraguay dispute the anthropologists’ claim, made in a Science editorial, that uncontacted tribes are “unviable”, and warn that “this dangerous myth plays into the hands of those who wish to invade and exploit tribal peoples’ ancestral homelands.”
Billions of people in developing world still without Internet access, new UN report finds
Published Sep 21, 2015 - 6:37:37 PM
Broadband Internet is failing to reach billions of people living in the developing world, including 90 per cent of those living in the poorest nations, according to a new United Nations report that offers country-by-country data on the state of access around the globe.
EU Fails To Put Weight Behind Energy Transformation Ahead of Paris Talks
Published Sep 18, 2015 - 10:35:34 AM
The European Union will go to the upcoming global climate talks with an inadequate offer which fails to give enough backing to citizen-controlled, renewable-powered energy, after ministers agreed a weak position in Brussels today.
Boko Haram violence displaces 1.4 million children in Nigeria and beyond – UNICEF
Published Sep 18, 2015 - 10:28:48 AM
The number of attacks by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria and neighbouring countries has risen, and half a million children have had to flee to safety in the past five months, bringing the total number of displaced children in the region to 1.4 million, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today.
In A Historic Step, Nepal Ratifies New Constitution That Includes LGBT Protections
Published Sep 18, 2015 - 8:24:43 AM
Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, hailed the passage of a new constitution in Nepal that provides explicit protections for LGBT people from discrimination, violence, and abuse--a historic first for a nation in Asia. Nepal joins only a handful of countries, including South Africa and Ecuador, that have enshrined equal rights protections for LGBT people in their national constitutions.
N rights chief ‘appalled’ at recent treatment of refugees, migrants by Hungarian authorities
Published Sep 18, 2015 - 8:15:35 AM
The United Nations human rights chief said today he is “appalled” at the recent actions displayed by the Hungarian Government in its treatment of refugees and migrants, and urged European institutions to take firm action to respond to the crisis affecting several countries.
Cash from Chaos: The Burgeoning Illicit Trade in Timber from Myanmar to China Revealed
Published Sep 17, 2015 - 7:59:43 AM
The conviction and subsequent pardon of 155 Chinese nationals in July for illegal logging in Myanmar threw a spotlight on how massive volumes of timber stolen from the county’s precious frontier forests have been flowing unhindered into China for decades.