This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
Ozone on track to heal completely in our lifetime
At the current momentum, scientists predict the planet’s protective shield of gas - or ozone layer - will be completely healed as far as some regions of the planet are concerned, by the 2030’s, the UN’s environmental agency (UNEP) has revealed.
The phaseout of controlled uses of ozone-depleting substances has not only helped replenish the protective layer for future generations but is also helping guard human health by filtering out harmful rays, said UNEP shared in a statement.
The recognition of this success comes on World Ozone Day, marked 16 September. This year celebrates “32 Years and Healing”; a commemoration of the international commitment to protect the ozone later and the climate under the historic Montreal Protocol, which has led to the phase-out of 99 per cent of ozone-depleting chemicals in refrigerators, air-conditioners and other consumer products.
“We can celebrate success,” UNEP said, “but we must all push to keep hold of these gains, in particular by remaining vigilant and tackling any illegal sources of ozone-depleting substances as they arise.”
Flooding displaces 64,000 in Laos and Thailand, 1,200 more in Myanmar due to conflict
A new humanitarian snapshot from the UN’s Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for Asia and the Pacific, shows that between intensified conflict and serious disasters, thousands remain displaced in the region.
At least 40,000 Lao people and 24,000 in Northern Thailand were counted displaced in the last week, with 32 people reportedly killed, all due to severe flooding caused by two major tropical storms, Podul and Kajiki.
Heavy rains in Bangladesh have flooded Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, affecting some 28,000 people, while in the Philippines, moderate to heavy rains wrought by Tropical Depression Marilyn prompted evacuations, as high tides damaged homes and caused river overflows.
Meanwhile in Myanmar, a flareup in conflict between the country’s military and Tan’ang National Liberation Army a few days ago, displaced more than 1,200 people (mostly elderly and children) in just three days.
Sexual violence still going unpunished in South Sudan
Armed conflict in South Sudan has declined in intensity nationwide but sexual violence continues to plague communities, UN-appointed independent investigators said on Monday.
In an update to the Human Rights Council, the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan said that women in the northern town of Bentiu, as well as Yei and Wau states, say they are still victims of high levels of sexually-motivated attacks.
Although the panel’s report does not indicate the number of incidents, chairperson of the panel Yasmin Sooka insisted that rape “has not stopped” in the east African country.
The development follows the expert group’s warning last month that although the overall armed conflict has waned, there has been little progress in adhering to the peace agreement signed by the warring parties in September last year.
The Commission also expressed concern at the slow pace of progress in establishing a special tribunal to judge sex crimes “which has not started working properly yet”.
Natalie Hutchison, UN News.