This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
It’s time to find and arrest remaining war crimes fugitives – UN prosecutor
More cooperation is needed to secure the arrest of fugitives charged with war crimes such as genocide, said the UN prosecutor for what is known as the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.
Serge Brammertz told Security Council members on Wednesday, that the “first priority” of his office remains to quickly wrap up the trials and appeals of alleged war criminals from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, which fall under the Mechanism’s jurisdiction.
With eight people still on the run, he said that “we are not yet receiving the cooperation needed to secure arrests”, although he noted a general lack of national capacity and the difficulties of tracking down international fugitives.
In the year marking the 25th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi and others, Mr. Brammertz said “the victims have waited far too long” for justice, with some fugitives remaining a threat to international peace and security today.
“We will utilize all tools available to us to address the challenges we face, he said, “including formal reports of non-cooperation to the Security Council if needed.”
Politicization of migrant ‘crisis’ in Hungary making them scapegoats, rights expert warns
Expressing deep concern over how migration and migrants themselves are being politicized and scapegoated in Hungary, an independent UN human rights expert on Wednesday urged the Government to immediately end its “crisis” approach to the issue.
“Migrants are portrayed as dangerous enemies in both official and public discourses” said Felipe González Morales, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, in a statement released following the end of an official visit.
He called on Hungary to “re-evaluate its current reality in relation to migration, terminate immediately the so-called ‘crisis situation’ and lift relevant restrictive measures.
He urged the Government to “reassess its security-oriented narrative” when it comes to migrants and move towards “a human rights-based approach” adding that security concerns could not justify human rights violations.
Ethnic Russians reach out to other indigenous groups at UN forum
To Geneva now, where indigenous peoples from around the world gathered on Wednesday to discuss how to protect their unique cultures and traditions in the face of challenges, including climate change.
From Karelia in the Russian Federation, which is home to nearly 200 different ethnic groups, Alexey Tsykarev told UN News how warmer global temperatures have threatened centuries-old practices:
“The snow is melting earlier and I remember that when I grew up in my childhood days, we had snow already in October, and now we have snow only in December, late December, and sometimes even January. And it impacts the lakes, for example, the ice on the lakes, and the fishing, it impacts the forestry, it impacts the indigenous people’s hunting and many other ways of life that indigenous peoples exercise.”
In addition to the threat from climate change, Mr. Tsykarev, who’s from the Centre for Support of Indigenous Peoples in Karelia, maintains that indigenous languages need protecting in the face of globalization and encroaching industry.
“In my community we think that we need to rebuild confidence of indigenous peoples in their own language,” he says.
Noting that “many parents” think there’s little point in their children learning Kerelian, Mr. Tsykarev is in Geneva to call for an international decade on indigenous languages, as opposed to a single year, which he believes is too little time to bring about change.
Matt Wells, UN News.