Lawlessness and impunity, as clashes continue in Libya
Fighting in Libya is spreading beyond the capital, Tripoli, and contributing to widespread lawlessness, war crimes and a humanitarian crisis, the UN’s top human rights forum has heard.
Addressing the Human Rights Council on Wednesday, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, said that today, the people of Libya fear a return to “full-scale civil war”.
The situation in the country deteriorated in April when an offensive to take Tripoli was launched by forces of the self-styled Libyan National Army under the command of General Khalifa Haftar.
The result has been the deaths of at least 218 civilians and hundreds more injured, Ms. Gilmore said, with more than 300,000 persons internally displaced while another 400,000 live within one to three kilometres from the clashes in Tripoli.
Also at the Human Rights Council, Ghassan Salamé, the head of the UN Mission in Libya UNSMIL, said that “widespread violations” of the arms embargo by external actors had made things worse.
“ The current conflict has now spread outside of the capital, with air and drone strikes launched against Misrata, Sirte and Jufra. It also sparked a micro-conflict in the city of Murzuq in southern Libya, where it is reported that over 100 civilians were killed over the past two months. As the Secretary-General recently warned, the conflict risks escalating into a full-blown civil war.”
Together with the UN human rights office, Mr. Salamé urged the Human Rights Council to establish an investigative mechanism to promote accountability in Libya.
Earth’s oceans and frozen spaces paying price for ‘taking the heat of global warming’
The world’s oceans and frozen spaces have been “taking the heat” for global warming for decades, climate experts said on Wednesday, in an appeal for urgent measures to tackle rising sea levels and melting glaciers, ice sheets and permafrost.
The experts, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warned that without a radical change in human behaviour, hundreds of millions of people could suffer from more frequent natural disasters and food shortages.
According to their special report, 670 million people who live in the world’s high mountain regions and around the same number in low-lying coastal zones “depend directly” on the planet’s oceans and frozen resources.
In addition, four million people live permanently in the Arctic region, and small island developing states are home to 65 million people.
Without major investments in adaptation, these low-lying zones would be exposed to escalating flood risks and some island nations “are likely to become uninhabitable”, the IPCC report insists.
It notes that in Europe, e astern Africa, the tropical Andes and Indonesia, smaller glaciers are projected to lose more than 80 per cent of their current ice mass by 2100, under worst emission scenarios.
This is likely to increase hazards for people, for example through landslides, avalanches, rockfalls and floods, in addition to problems farmers and hydroelectric power producers downstream.
Global green ‘New Deal’ needed, to achieve SDGs by 2030
And finally, a new generation of global commerce and finance deals is needed to help poorer countries grow without them having to resort to high-polluting energy sources, the UN trade and development agency, UNCTAD, said on Wednesday.
In a call for a “Green New Deal” for the world’s economy, in reference to the measures introduced in the United States during the Great Depression to boost growth, UNCTAD maintained that what is needed is a “clean break” from current austerity measures.
UN Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved, UNCTAD believes, but it is going to require Governments investing around $1.7 billion a year in low-emission policies.
That is around one-third of what is currently spent on fossil fuel subsidies, the UN noted, adding that the strategy could generate at least 170 million jobs and result in cleaner industrialization in the Global South.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.