This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Hailed as an ‘exceptional global leader’, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan laid to rest in Ghana
Someone who could “bring people together, put them at ease, and unite them towards a common goal…” That is how the current UN chief, António Guterres, described his predecessor, Kofi Annan, as he was being laid to rest in Ghana on Thursday.
The only UN chief to have emerged from the ranks of the organization’s staff, Kofi Annan passed away at the age of 80, on 18 August, after a short illness.
The ceremony was the occasion to reflect once again on what Mr. Guterres called “a remarkable record of achievement”.
“He opened the doors of the United Nations, bringing the Organization closer to the world’s people and engaging new partners in protecting the environment, defending human rights and combating HIV/AIDS and other killer diseases. Kofi Annan was the United Nations and the United Nations was him.”
The Secretary-General closed his tribute by mentioning that, while Kofi Annan will be missed “immensely”, we should continue to “be guided by the knowledge that he will continue speaking to us, urging us on towards the goals to which he dedicated his life and truly moved our world”.
UN human rights chief calls on countries to do more to prevent genocide
Seventy years since the Genocide Convention was adopted, the UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, warned members of the Human Rights Council in Geneva that genocide remains very much a “threat and a reality” in the twenty-first century.
As examples, she highlighted the heinous acts of “murder, rape and assault” committed against Myanmar’s Rohingya people, and the brutality that the Iraqi Yazidi community has been facing.
Stressing that “accountability matters”, Ms. Bachelet denounced impunity as an “enabler of genocide” and noted that “punishment is key to prevention”.
To date, 149 States have ratified or acceded to the Convention on Genocide.
Yemen: Humanitarian situation in Hudaydah continues to deteriorate ‘dramatically’ – UN official
In western Yemen, as Hudaydah has been the target of continued shelling and air strikes since June, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Lise Grande, is once again sounding the alarm on the living conditions of hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in the governorate.
Ms. Grande issued a statement on Thursday stressing that the humanitarian situation has “deteriorated dramatically” in the past few days, that “people are struggling to survive”.
Hudaydah is a lifeline for millions of people who depend on assistance. Close to 70 per cent of all humanitarian assistance and nearly all commercial food stocks for northern Yemen enter through the ports of Hudaydah and Saleef, higher up north.
Yemen’s conflict dates back to 2011, but fighting escalated in March 2015, when an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened militarily at the request of Yemen’s President.
The country is now facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis with 22 million people — 3 in 4 Yemenis — in need of some form of humanitarian aid.
Yasmina Guerda, UN News.