This is the news in brief from the United Nations.
Violence continuing to inflict ‘high levels of harm’ on Afghan civilians
Although Afghan civilians are continuing to suffer high levels of casualties due to ongoing conflict, rates are at their lowest level since the beginning of 2013.
That’s according to figures released on Wednesday by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, which documented 581 civilian deaths, and 1,192 injured during the first three months of this year.
That represents a 23 per cent drop for the same period last year, driven by a fall in the number of suicide attacks, as well as an unusually harsh winter.
UNAMA said it was “very concerned by the continuing targeting of civilians” and an increase in casualties from the use of non-suicide explosives by “anti-Government elements”.
There was also a significant increase in casualties due to aerial and search operations, which led to an uptick in casualties at the hands of pro-Government forces.
More regulation on new technologies needed: UN Human Rights chief says after visiting Silicon Valley
After an intensive four-day visit to Silicon Valley, in California, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has urged all States to adopt a "smart mix of measures to regulate new technologies”.
"Finding a smart mix in a digital, networked environment is particularly challenging and requires innovative thinking," Ms. Bachelet said, on Wednesday, adding that regulation needs to be “flexible and capable of evolving to address the changing needs of this sector."
Highlighting the urgency of finding solutions to some of the major threats to human rights posed by technological advances, the Human Rights chief said that technology “can, and should, be all about progress.”
But she warned that “hugely invasive powers” were being unleashed by tech innovation, which could do “incalculable damage” without enough checks.
Ms. Bachelet also announced a project to help technology companies incorporate established international human rights principles into their work.
‘Violent extremism must not divide us’: UN High Commissioner for Refugees on Sri Lanka’s attacks
And finally, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, issued a statement on Wednesday expressing his “deep shock and sorrow” over the Sri Lanka attacks on Easter Day, and the rising death toll.
The UNHCR chief said he felt “encouraged by the outpouring of solidarity and calls for unity from all corners of the world”, adding that “violent extremism must not divide us.”
Mr. Grandi said the agency would stand by the government and people of Sri Lanka, “a country that has offered protection to refugees of diverse religions and nationalities, at the same time as it continues to recover from its own experience of division and conflict” during its long civil war.
Ana Carmo, UN News.