UN Secretary-General ‘profoundly alarmed’ over Gaza developments
The UN Secretary-General said on Monday that he was “profoundly alarmed” over the situation in Gaza, where a high number of Palestinians were killed and injured during the day, taking part in demonstrations along the border with Israel.
Media reports indicate that more than 50 people were killed as thousands gathered to protest the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
Speaking in Vienna, UN chief António Guterres said Israel must calibrate its use of force and minimize the use of live fire.
Lethal force, he said, should be used only as a last resort, under imminent threat of death or serious injury.
Mr. Guterres also called on Hamas and the demonstration’s leaders to keep protestors away from the Gaza fence and prevent all violent actions, provocations and attempts to breach the fence.
Closure of North Korea nuclear test site will contribute to peace: UN chief
While in Vienna, the Secretary-General also highlighted what he described as “some good news”: the recent announcement by North Korea that it will close its nuclear test site at Punggye-ri.
Here’s Mr. Guterres speaking to reporters earlier on Monday:
“I’d like to welcome that and to say that irreversible closure of the site will be an important confidence-building measure that will contribute to further efforts towards sustainable peace and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and I look forward to this positive momentum being consolidated at the summit between the leaders of the United States and North Korea.”
The summit is set to take place next month in Singapore.
Remove activists, indigenous people from Philippines ‘terrorist’ list: UN experts
A UN committee is calling for authorities in the Philippines to expunge the names of indigenous peoples and human rights defenders from a so-called “terrorist” list.
Among the more than 600 individuals alleged to be affiliated with terrorist organizations are former and current experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, including Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.
The UN committee that monitors implementation of an anti-racism convention, which the Philippines has ratified, has expressed alarm over their inclusion.
The list “aims to intimidate people struggling for their rights and indigenous people defending their lands”, members said in a statement issued on Monday.
Furthermore, they continued, “it is part of a wider campaign by the State party to narrow the democratic space and to target various groups of persons”.
The committee has requested the Philippines “to take effective measures to protect indigenous peoples and human rights defenders, and to foster a conducive environment enabling them to carry out their work without fear”.
Sudan urged to halt execution of teen accused of murdering her husband
The Government of Sudan is being urged to spare the life of a teenager charged with killing her husband.
Noura Hussein, who is 19, was found guilty last week of pre-meditated murder and has been sentenced to hang.
The young woman reportedly was forced into marriage when she was 16.
She allegedly was raped by her husband while three of his male relatives held her down.
UN Women, the UN agency working to achieve gender equality, together with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa have joined the chorus of voices appealing for clemency in her case.
They have issued a statement pleading with the Sudanese authorities to save Noura’s life “and to protect the lives of all women and girls as envisaged in the United Nations Charter and the Sustainable Development Goals”.