Amid Bolivia turmoil, UN chief urges respect for diplomatic missions
Authorities in Bolivia are being urged to uphold the safety of citizens and foreigners in the country amid the political crisis brought on by the resignation of President Evo Morales this past weekend.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres made the appeal on Sunday, following reports of attacks against the Venezuelan embassy in the capital, La Paz.
“In light of continued worrisome developments in Bolivia, the Secretary-General reiterates his appeal to all Bolivians to refrain from violence and to the authorities to ensure the safety and security of all citizens, government officials and foreign nationals,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.
“He also calls for respect for state and local institutions, as well as the inviolability of diplomatic missions.”
Mr. Morales, who was elected in 2006, was Bolivia’s first indigenous President.
His resignation followed weeks of protests stemming from the disputed 20 October presidential elections in which the opposition and civil society leaders denounced alleged irregularities.
UN experts call for protection of scores detained in camps in Syria and Iraq
Four high-level UN advocates are calling for the full protection of thousands of women and children currently being held in overcrowded camps across northern Syria and Iraq.
They fear recent ongoing hostilities can further worsen the already dire conditions of this highly vulnerable group.
Following the Turkish incursion into northern Syria last month, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria reported that more than 100,000 people, mostly women and children with presumed links to ISIL fighters, are “lingering in makeshift camps” in the region.
Last week, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) called on Governments to repatriate an estimated 28,000 foreign children trapped there, the majority of whom are from Iraq.
In a statement issued on Monday, the four UN experts expressed deep concern over the uncertainty of detention and security arrangements, “including possible lack of due process, arbitrary detention, imposition of the death penalty, torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, sexual violence…as well as limited access to basic humanitarian services such as food, water, medical care and other essential services.”
They also advised States to take measures to avoid the stigmatization of children born of conflict-related sexual violence or who were recruited or used by warring parties.
New UN forestry project to help countries combat climate change
Twenty-six countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America are set to benefit from a UN project to help tackle climate change through better forestry management.
These nations will soon be able to provide improved data on forest and land use under a $7 million initiative announced on Monday by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The scheme will support an e-learning course on transparency in the forest sector for national forestry staff.
Improving data on forest and land use is a key pledge of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which aims to keep global temperature rise this century to below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
FAO explained that accurate monitoring of forest and land use is essential if countries are to track progress towards achieving a more sustainable future as they adopt climate change-mitigation and adaptation measures.