This is the News in Brief from the United Nations
A day to remember the ‘invincible spirit’ of enslaved people
UN chief António Guterres paid homage on Monday to the millions of Africans bought and sold as part of the transatlantic slave trade, “denied their humanity, and forced to endure abominable cruelty across centuries.”
The Secretary-General was speaking at a ceremony held at UN Headquarters in New York to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Mr. Guterres described slavery and the transatlantic slave trade as being among history’s most appalling manifestations of human brutality, but he said that those affected were “far more than victims”:
Enslaved people struggled against a system that they knew was wrong. They resisted. On many occasions, they sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom and dignity.
And so we remember not just the domination of people against their will, but also the invincible spirit that led the oppressed to revolt.
We are inspired by remarkable endurance, resilience and countless contributions to bettering our world.
And we need to tell the stories of those who stood up against their oppressors, and recognize their righteous resistance.
Lethal autonomous weapons are ‘morally repugnant,’ says UN chief
The UN chief called for an international ban on deadly weapons that can operate without human control, on Monday, describing them as “politically unacceptable” and “morally repugnant”.
The Secretary-General’s comments were delivered to a meeting of a group of government experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems: some members of the group are calling for a new law to prohibit such weapons, whilst others are arguing for political measures and guidelines to be drawn up.
Mr. Guterres said that the work of the experts is of “utmost importance’” and concluded with an emphatic warning, telling decision-makers in the room that “the world is watching,” and “the clock is ticking.”
Rohingya relocation plans: UN urges caution
The UN says that, before the Bangladeshi Government relocates Rohingya refugees to an island off the coast of the country, a full assessment of living condition and a humanitarian response, need to be carried out.
On Monday, the UN in Bangladesh issued an update in response to the Government’s long-stated plan to move refugees to the island of Bhashan Char, and ease chronic overcrowding in camps at Cox’s Bazar, which is hosting more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees who’ve fled their homes in Myanmar.
Some humanitarian and human rights groups have reportedly criticized the relocation proposal, citing concerns that the uninhabited island is prone to flooding, frequent cyclones and risks being completely submerged during a high tide.
Conor Lennon, UN News.