Afghanistan: grave concern at reports 11 civilians killed by pro-Government forces
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, says it is gravely concerned at reports that 11 civilians were killed during a State-sponsored security operation.
In a tweet on Wednesday, UNAMA, said they had died in a search operation carried out in Paktia province, in the east of the country, during the Eid festival earlier this week.
Accountability is essential and harm to civilians must stop, the Mission insisted.
The development, which reportedly claimed the lives of students, comes as UNAMA continues to support preparations for the delayed Afghan-led presidential election, due to take place next month.
UN panel urges Paraguay to probe poisonings, contamination from agrochemical sprays
Paraguay should take action to prosecute those responsible for the illegal use of fertilizers that allegedly led to the death of one farmer and the poisoning of at least 20 others, a UN-appointed panel of independent experts has said.
According to the Human Rights Committee, the large-scale spraying of “toxic agrochemicals” in Canindeyú department in the east of the country, has severely-impacted living conditions, health and livelihoods.
It said in a statement that despite samples being found in people’s homes that showed the presence of banned chemicals many years ago, subsequent investigations had “made no substantive progress”, and had not led to any finding of criminal responsibility, or to the redress of the harm” caused.
The expert panel maintained that water resources and aquifers had been contaminated by industrial soybean production that had caused the loss of fruit trees, the death of farm animals and severe crop damage.
The committee also highlighted a court ruling in Paraguay which found that the authorities had failed to protect people from the toxic products, while also calling for a buffer zone between housing and growing areas.
Disarmament discussions must make urgent progress, says UN’s new top diplomat in Geneva
And finally to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, where the UN’s top diplomat there has urged Governments to be more successful in tackling global threats to peace.
Tatiana Valovaya, who’s the first woman Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament, as well as the first female UN Director-General in the Swiss city, warned that escalating tensions around the world were “severely jeopardizing” the gains made in the last 40 years at the Conference by Member States.
New scientific, technological developments and dynamics were challenging international security, Ms. Valovaya insisted, while also calling for the Conference to “overcome their differences” in search of results.
“For us to move forward and get things done to deliver on the important mandate bestowed on this body, we must ensure that the Conference does what it was intended to do: to negotiate and agree new instruments governing complex, sensitive and urgent issues of national and international security, issues that impact on every living being on this planet.”
Ms. Valovaya’s comments follow the recent ending of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and Russia.
In a statement at the beginning of the month, UN Secretary-General António Guterres underlined the need to avoid what he called “destabilizing developments” and to urgently seek agreement on a new common path for international arms control.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.