News in Brief 8 June 2017 (PM)

8 June 2017

UN chief welcomes arms turn-over in Colombia

Recent progress in the implementation of the peace deal in Colombia is being welcomed by the UN Secretary-General.

António Guterres said on Thursday he was encouraged by the completion of the delivery to the UN mission in the country of 30 per cent of the arms held by FARC rebels.

The government and the rebel group signed a peace agreement last November, ending five decades of conflict.

The UN chief called on both sides to advance further progress on their respective commitments under the accord.

He also underlined the UN’s readiness to continue supporting the peace process.

Human rights experts say indigenous rights under fire in Brazil

Indigenous and environmental rights are under attack in Brazil, four UN and regional human rights experts warned on Thursday.

They said over the past 15 years, the country has seen the highest number of killings of environmental and land defenders in the world, averaging approximately one death a week.

They called on the authorities to strengthen institutional and legal protection for indigenous and other communities, as well as for people of African descent.

One of the experts, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli Corpuz, also expressed alarm over accusations that her visit to Brazil last year “intentionally triggered an increase in the number of indigenous peoples reclaiming their lands, exposing them to further violence.”

She said some communities suffered attacks immediately following her mission.

UN refugee chief concludes mission to China

China can play a key role in helping to resolve refugee crises, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said on Thursday.

Filippo Grandi was speaking at the end of a two-day visit to the country, his first since being appointed in January 2016.

He pointed out that the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and China have been cooperating for the past 40 years and during that time, the country has become “a major actor on the global stage.”

Meanwhile, UNHCR said China’s contribution to refugee programmes has “increased significantly” in recent years: from US$2.8 million in 2016 to more than US$12.5 million so far this year.

Globally, more than 65 million people have been displaced from their homes due to conflict, human rights violations, climate change, and other factors.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’34”


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