The United Nations in Myanmar is following with concern the reports of violent clashes between the police and protesters in Rakhine State. The United Nations Office urges respect for the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, and calls for the security forces and demonstrators to act with restraint.
The United Nations refugee agency evacuated 74 refugees, mostly children and women, from Libya to Niger. In the Central African Republic, voluntary repatriation of Sudanese refugees has begun; since Tuesday, 230 refugees have arrived in Sudan. Agency-chartered flights will bring some 1,500 refugees home by the end of 2017.
Some 350,000 children remain in need of support across the Caribbean three months after hurricanes Irma and Maria barrelled through the region, UNICEF reported today. More than 35 per cent of children in Dominica - particularly those in shelters - are yet to be enrolled in education activities, and many children and families in Antigua and Barbuda remain unable to return home.
Describing “the most heartbreaking and horrific” accounts of sexual atrocities against girls and women in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for Sexual Violence in Conflict told the Security Council today that every woman or girl she had spoken with had either endured brutal assault or had witnessed sexual violence, including seeing women literally being raped to death.
At the annual Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) Pledging Conference, the Secretary-General called for a $1 billion CERF to help bolster contingency financing, noting that, since 2005, humanitarian needs have increased from $5.2 billion to over $24 billion today, with more people than ever on the brink of disaster.
The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen briefed the Security Council, warning of alarming levels of violence affecting civilians and emphasizing an acute need for a negotiated settlement and inclusive peace process at a time of sharply shifting political dynamics following the killing of the former President.
The Secretary-General is meeting for the first time with his High-level Advisory Board on Mediation, established to help his efforts to build stronger partnerships in preventing and resolving crises. The Secretary-General emphasized in his remarks the experience and knowledge of Board members and the critical role they could play in preventive diplomacy.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that the number of Rohingya refugees having fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since 25 August has now reached 621,000. As of this morning, the Rohingya Refugee Crisis Response Plan has received nearly $140 million, or 32 per cent of requirements. Donors had pledged $360 million for the October response.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights report having noted an increase in murders and threats against human rights defenders and community leaders in the country’s Pacific Coast region. In most cases, the victims are from indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.
Today is World Diabetes Day, and the World Health Organization (WHO) is highlighting women’s right to a healthy future. The agency says there are some 422 million people living with diabetes, 205 million of whom are women. More than half are in the Western Pacific and South-east Asia regions.
The United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia and the Episcopal Conference of Colombia issued a joint press release highlighting the first month of ceasefire monitoring by the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN). The Mission has established 33 local or regional verification teams that are now operational.
Among today’s highlights from the Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, were a pledge by HSBC Bank to mobilize $100 billion in sustainable financing and investment in support of the transition to a low-carbon economy and green growth around the world, and the release of a report by the European Union saying it is on track to meet its 2020 emissions-reduction target.
Calling on the Myanmar Government to end the excessive military force and intercommunal violence that had devastated the Rohingya community in Rakhine State, the Security Council this afternoon urged the implementation of agreed‑upon mechanisms to assist return of those who have fled and to ensure access for humanitarian aid.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) welcomed Myanmar’s commitment to implement recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, as the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported slower rates of refugees entering Bangladesh.
The United Nations Environment Programme’s new Emission Gaps Report, which was released today, found that the national pledges made by countries in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change represent only one third of the action needed to meet climate targets and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned today that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached a level not seen in 800,000 years, rising at record speed in 2016. The WMO’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reported that globally averaged carbon dioxide concentrations reached 403.3 parts per million in 2016, up from 400 parts per million in 2015 due to human activities and a strong El Niño.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on the parties to the Syrian conflict to allow badly needed food and medical supplies to get into Eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus, where at least 350,000 civilians remain besieged.
Humanitarian colleagues in Syria are deeply concerned about the situation for civilians in East Ghouta where children are reportedly suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The last United Nations inter-agency convoy reached the besieged enclave on 23 September with assistance for 25,000 people.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is increasingly concerned by escalating displacement in several key regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where 3.9 million people are internally displaced and the challenges of getting aid to people in need are growing fast.
It will take more than 100 years to end child marriage in West and Central Africa at current rates of reduction, UNICEF reported today. The new projections, released during a high-level meeting on ending child marriage in Dakar, Senegal, this week, aim to bring the spotlight on the region where girls face the highest risk of marrying in childhood.
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