The Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, reiterated her grave concerns at the deterioration of the situation in Ethiopia. She said that calls to arms and hate speech by leaders, militarization of society, ethnic profiling, denial of humanitarian access and blockage of food to areas under fighting inhabited by specific ethnic communities, as well as misuse of medical supplies, continue.  She added that they are spiraling the country down to a path where the risk of commission of atrocity crimes, including genocide, is real and must be addressed as a matter of utmost urgency.
The Special Adviser calls on regional and international actors to intensify their engagement to prevent falling into this abyss. The Special Adviser also reminds all parties in the ongoing conflict that they remain accountable not only to the citizens of their country, their region and the world, but also to courts of justice, on the basis of their responsibilities under international human rights and international humanitarian law.
The Special Adviser also emphasizes that, while nothing can restore the lives of those that have been lost, it is not late to prevent further suffering and to put an end to the hostilities through meaningful and constructive dialogue. Regional and international actors have provided leaders in Ethiopia with tools and mechanisms to conduct such dialogue. It is more imperative than ever that they demonstrate their true leadership by immediately committing to taking this path, in words and in actions.

The Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, concluded a visit to Moscow today where he met with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Vershinin Sergey Vasilievich, and Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov.  They discussed the need for a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement of the conflict in Yemen.  
In his first official visit outside of the region, Mr. Grundberg thanked Russia for its sustained support to the UN’s peacemaking efforts in Yemen and highlighted his appreciation for the joint efforts of the permanent members of the UN Security Council on the Yemeni file. “Russia’s long-standing relations with a plurality of actors in Yemen and its backing of the UN's efforts are important to bring Yemen to a peaceful settlement,” Mr. Grundberg said.
Mr. Grundberg reiterated his concern over the military escalation in Marib and the West Coast, highlighting the risks for further escalation: “We are facing a potential military escalation that will only increase the suffering of civilians. Increased international efforts are essential to convince all sides of the need to settle disagreements at the negotiation table.”

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a Tweet that it was alarmed by the reported attack on Thursday against the Sebha court of appeal.
UNSMIL strongly condemns any form of electoral-related violence and reiterates that the electoral process must be protected.  Attacks against judicial or election facilities or judicial or elections personnel are not only criminal acts, punishable under Libyan law, but also undermine Libyans’ right to participate in the political process, the Mission said.
The Mission reiterates its call for holding transparent, fair and inclusive elections on 24 December 2021.

The UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) said yesterday that it is gravely concerned by the significant rise in tribal and intercommunal violence, which has resulted in the loss of civilian lives and livelihoods, most recently in North Darfur and West Darfur.
The UN Mission welcomes initial efforts reportedly taken by local authorities to respond to the situation and calls on regional and national authorities to immediately step-up efforts to de-escalate tensions, investigate the recent incidents, and prevent further violence.
It stresses that the persistent insecurity in Darfur underscores the need for the Government and armed groups that have signed up to the Juba Peace Agreement to prioritize the protection of civilians in Darfur.
UNITAMS reminds the Sudanese authorities’ that their responsibility to protect civilians is not diminished despite the current political situation.

Escalating violent demonstrations in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara have left several access roads blocked with some buildings set ablaze and stores looted, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
There is a request for help for displaced people in Honiara.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is closely working with the Ministry of Health to provide support as required.
So far, all UN staff have been accounted for and no damage to UN assets has been reported.
Priority humanitarian needs include food, due to COVID-related economic hardships and market lockdowns, as well as protection with looting creating safety and security risks. Violence against women is also a concern.
More than 1,500 Asian migrants have reportedly been displaced. The Solomon Islands Red Cross is delivering food to stranded students and helping transport stranded foreign workers and staff to safety.

In a joint statement marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women yesterday and the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Women in Myanmar called for greater action to ensure the protection of women and girls and to increase the availability and accessibility of quality, multi-sectoral services, including health care, justice, safety, protection and social services for survivors, regardless of the political and security situation.
In Myanmar, this requires support for the many civil society organizations – women civil society organizations and health civil society organizations in particular – who are running prevention programming and delivering services day in and day out in often incredibly complex circumstances.
Myanmar’s continuing state of emergency following the military takeover of 1 February or COVID-19 restriction measures are not an excuse for violence against women and girls, UNFPA and UN Women said.
In times of crises such as humanitarian crisis, conflicts, climate disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of gender-based violence increases. A new report from UN Women, based on data from 13 countries, shows that 2 in 3 women reported that they or a woman they know experienced some form of violence during the pandemic.
The UN Refugee Agency today said it is worried about the difficult living conditions of indigenous Warao families from Venezuela who are settled in remote locations across Guyana. 
Access to services for these communities is limited and the delivery of aid is impeded by remoteness and lack of transport infrastructure. 
UNHCR is on the ground, coordinating with the Government and humanitarian partners on how to best support the government-led response. UNHCR is delivering food hampers, solar lamps, mosquito nets, water purification tablets provided by the Guyanese Civil Defense Commission, and other basic relief items to some 400 indigenous Warao from Venezuela living in northern Guyana, including in the Anabisi community.
The agency also called for increased humanitarian presence and timely support from the international community is needed to help the Government of Guyana respond to the needs of these communities.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today said that it is deeply shocked and saddened by the unprecedented tragedy that unfolded in the English Channel on Wednesday. UNHCR said at least 27 people including women and young people lost their lives attempting to cross one of the world’s most dangerous sea routes.
UNHCR pointed out that this is the largest loss of life recorded in this seaway in recent times and is one that could have been avoided. The agency said now is the time for all States and civil society to commit to placing human life, rights and dignity at the centre and forefront of discussions in trying to find solutions, and that saving lives should always be the priority.
UNHCR said a coordinated and comprehensive response is needed on both sides of the Channel and beyond - from the provision of adequate information for people on the move, including on the risks of crossings, to dignified reception conditions, saving lives at sea, actively combating smuggling rings, and expanding safe and predictable routes to safety for refugees.
For its part, the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF) said this tragedy is a stark reminder that urgent collective action is needed to stop the avoidable loss of life at sea and prevent similar events from happening again in the future. UNICEF noted that at least 744 people on the move have lost their lives in Europe since 2014, almost 200 of them in an attempt to cross the Channel.
UNICEF called for urgent action to avoid further loss of life at sea.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is convening a virtual meeting with experts around the world on the recently reported COVID-19 variant, B 1.1.529.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
WHO anticipates it will take a few weeks to understand what the variant means and how it might impact diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.
Later today, the WHO will announce whether the variant will be classified as one of interest or of concern.
WHO stresses the need for more people, everywhere, to be vaccinated.