Replacement for United States on Human Rights Council to be elected ‘as soon as possible’
International reaction to the United States decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council continued on Wednesday with the President of the Geneva-based assembly confirming that the election of a new Member State would take place “as soon as possible” to fill the vacant seat.
The development follows an announcement on Tuesday by Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN, that the US was pulling out after repeated warnings during the past year that the Council was allegedly biased against Israel and in need of major reform.
Speaking hours after the US move, Vojislav Šuc said that the poll would take place once US “notification of withdrawal is formally received”.
Members are elected by majority vote at the UN General Assembly in New York and Mr. Šuc told the 47-State body in Geneva that he intended to “be in touch” with its President, Miroslav Lajčák, about choosing a replacement to complete the unfinished US term.
UN providing help to civilians fleeing fighting around Yemeni port of Hodeida
The UN and humanitarian partners have provided emergency assistance to around 5,600 people fleeing the fighting around the crucial Yemeni port city of Hodeida over the past week, said Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric on Wednesday.
A diplomatic impasse has meant that forces from the Saudi-led coalition have been advancing on the city, in an effort to drive out rebel Houthi fighters who control the port.
UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is holding talks with parties to the conflict, to avert an all-out assault on the city of 600,000, many of whom are dependent on the port for their survival.
If fighting reaches more urban areas, civilians will be at greater risk, including from a further deadly cholera outbreak, said the UN Spokesperson.
Conflict and climate change challenge sustainable development effort: UN report
Although more people are leading better lives than a decade ago, persistent poverty and hunger, as well as rapid urbanization, are challenging global efforts to create a more just and equitable world, according to a United Nations report launched on Wednesday.
The study provides a snapshot of progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by world leaders nearly three years ago.
“With just 12 years left to the 2030 deadline, we must inject a sense of urgency,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a forward to the report.
The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 reveals that conflict and climate change were major contributing factors to increased hunger and forced displacement, among other challenges.
Conflict is now one of the main drivers of food insecurity in nearly 20 countries.
The report also points out some good news, such as the significant decline in the number of people living on less than two dollars a day.
Matt Wells, UN News.