This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Tackling gross inequalities is key to solving major global issues: UN rights chief
UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet has expressed concern about the Philippines’ war on illegal drugs, saying that up to 27,000 people have likely been killed in the campaign since mid-2016.
Addressing the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner highlighted that the policy promoted by President Rodrigo Duterte “should not be more of a threat” to peoples’ lives than the drugs they are using.
Ms. Bachelet’s comments came as she highlighted concerns over rights around the world, including in Europe, where migration from North Africa had led to 226 deaths in the first two months of the year alone.
On US-bound migration, Ms. Bachelet also noted that “thousands more migrant children have been separated from their families than had been previously reported”, according to a recent US Government report.
In more positive developments, the High Commissioner hailed reforms in Ethiopia - where gender parity has been in achieved in government – and in Tunisia - where a woman was elected Mayor of the capital last year.
$120 million needed to provide life-saving assistance to 3.8 million in DPR Korea
To North Korea now, known officially as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), where UN aid workers say that 3.8 million people need life-saving assistance.
According to the Humanitarian Country Team, an estimated 11 million people lack sufficient nutritious food, clean drinking water or access to basic services such as health and sanitation.
Women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities are particularly vulnerable and are prioritized in the UN’s newly-published 2019 humanitarian needs plan.
Help is urgently needed after it was found that overall food production in 2018 was the lowest it’s been in a decade, and more than 9 per cent down on 2017 levels.
UN-led talks on Western Sahara announced in Switzerland
And finally to the Western Sahara, a territory bordered by Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria, which has been a source of conflict since 1970.
Almost 49 years later, the situation remains volatile, but UN Envoy, Horst Koehler, said on Wednesday that talks will be held later this month in Switzerland, after discussions last December.
Bilateral meetings have already been held to prepare for the talks between Morocco, the Frente Polisario, Algeria and Mauritania, which have been welcomed by the UN Security Council.
The United Nations Peace Mission known as MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) was deployed in 1991 to oversee a ceasefire.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.