The Secretary-General, marking Human Rights Day and its theme, “Youth Standing up for Human Rights”, said that, throughout history and across the world, young people have been at the forefront of standing up for what is right and that he is deeply inspired by the energy and passion they bring to the struggle for human rights.
Rabab Fatima, the new Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, presented her credentials to UN Secretary‑General António Guterres today.
The World Food Programme launched its biggest emergency response for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh this year, following this week’s heavy rains and flooding. In 24 hours, WFP reached 16,000 people with food aid — more than the total number of people it has reached since the start of the monsoon season.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today said that the Myanmar has conveyed to Bangladesh’s Government the names of 3,450 Rohingya refugees who have been cleared for return to Myanmar’s Rakhine State. UNHCR called Myanmar’s engagement a positive step in affirmation of the right to return of Rohingya refugees.
The World Food Programme (WFP) is working with the Government of Bangladesh to help more than 275,000 people affected by flooding in the country’s north-west. Some 5,000 households have received cash transfers as part of an innovative project which uses weather forecasts to trigger early action.
Across parts of Bangladesh, monsoon rains have led to flooding and landslides that has reportedly killed at 30 people affected 2 million. The Government is providing food, shelter and emergency cash assistance, and the United Nations and aid partners are supporting water and health-related efforts.
A new Food and Agriculture Organization report finds that 41 countries — 31 of which are in Africa — require food assistance, as cyclone damage and rainfall deficits in 2019 caused significant agricultural production shortfalls in Southern Africa, and severe dryness in East Africa negatively affected harvests.
Due to sporadic rainfall in Bangladesh’s Teknaf peninsula, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and aid partners will truck water in the coming days to 140,000 Rohingya refugees, where water rationing due to limited supply has raised concern about the potential for water-borne diseases.
The United Nations refugee agency said today it is deeply concerned about the fate of at least 21 Venezuelans missing after their boat sank yesterday morning on the way to Trinidad and Tobago. It was carrying at least 25 people, and the Trinidad and Tobago authorities said four were rescued.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet today strongly condemned the beheading of 37 men in Saudi Arabia, most of them Shi’a Muslims, despite the repeated appeals by the United Nations about the lack of due process and fair trial guarantees. She appealed to the authorities to halt pending executions.
The top-ranking United Nations officials for refugees, migration and humanitarian affairs will jointly visit Bangladesh from Wednesday to Friday this week to highlight the ongoing importance of supporting the humanitarian needs of nearly a million Rohingya refugees, as well as people living in host communities.
With Bangladesh expecting its first monsoon of the year in the coming weeks, the United Nations refugee agency is ramping up emergency preparations and training of Rohingya refugees as first responders. Last year, more than 740,000 refugees fleeing Myanmar into Bangladesh experienced their first monsoon.
Fragility, tensions and violence in Myanmar — including, but not limited to, the recent crisis in Rakhine State — risk jeopardizing important strides made in that country’s peace process, the top United Nations official in Myanmar warned the Security Council today, urging the 15-member organ to continue to lend support.
To assist 2.3 million people in Mali, the United Nations and its humanitarian partners today launched the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan requesting $296 million. The situation there has deteriorated in recent years due to increased conflict and intercommunal clashes, as well as a high level of food insecurity.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has scaled up efforts to support five western African countries as they respond to outbreaks of Lassa fever. The largest outbreak thus far has affected 16 states in Nigeria, with 213 confirmed cases to date.
In Bangladesh, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Oxfam have installed the largest human waste treatment facility ever built in a refugee settlement, in Cox’s Bazar, which is home to nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally release human rights defender Nabeel Rajab and ensure that all Bahrainis are able to exercise their rights to freedom of opinion and expression without fear of arbitrary detention. She urges Bahrain to stop criminalizing dissenting voices.
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
At the launch of the United Nations System Workplace Mental Health and Well-being Strategy, the Secretary-General highlighted the importance of ensuring the well-being of staff, many of whom work in increasingly dangerous environments, and the need to fight the stigma of talking about mental health issues in the workplace.
One year after the start of the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Security Council considered today the report issued by the independent fact-finding mission dispatched to that country, which alleges that national security forces committed gross human rights violations and abuses that “undoubtedly amount to the gravest crimes under international law”.
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