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News in Brief 28 January 2020

News in Brief 28 January 2020

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

Iraq: Rights report expresses concerns over ISIL fighter trials

A new UN report published on Tuesday shows that while considerable effort has been made by Iraqis to bring former ISIL terrorist fighters to justice, there are “serious concerns” about the fairness of the proceedings.

The joint report by the Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the UN human rights office found that basic fair trial standards were not respected in terrorism-related trials, placing defendants at a serious disadvantage.

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said a “fair and just criminal justice system” was key to building “trust and legitimacy and promoting and protecting human rights”.

The High Commissioner said those responsible for widespread atrocities against Iraqis “must be held to account for their crimes, and it is important that the victims see that justice is delivered”.

At the same time, she stressed those accused “have the right to a fair trial, and these standards must be strictly applied”.

Sudan: Violence pushes thousands to flee

Turning to Sudan, a spokesperson for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, told journalists on Tuesday that since last month, violence in West Darfur state has driven more than 11,000 people into neighbouring Chad – including some four thousand last week alone.

And the clashes are estimated to have displaced some 46,000 inside the country, mostly late last month.

The refugees are currently sheltering in villages along a 100-kilometre stretch, near the Chad border, which already hosts 128,000 Sudanese refugees.

“The conditions are dire”, said UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch. “Most are staying in the open or under makeshift shelters”, and food, water and health conditions are of urgent concern.

While UNHCR and partners are coordinating an emergency response, HE stated that “the rate of refugee arrivals risks outpacing our capacity”.

New financial panel to push Global Goals forward

And in New York, the President of the General Assembly encouraged Member States to support a new panel that has been set up to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality, by 2030.  

On Tuesday, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and Mona Juul, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC, launched a joint initiative to establish a high-level panel on financial accountability, transparency and integrity, called FACTI.

“It is critical that Member States get behind the panel's work, both substantively and financially”, he urged, noting that in light of the Decade of Action, it would help promote faster progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

According to Mr. Muhammad-Bande, a lack of financial integrity impacts all countries’ ability to mobilize domestic resources.

Moreover, it is a cross-border problem that requires “inclusive multilateral action”. 

Meanwhile Ms. Juul called 2020 “a significant milestone in our journey” to implement the 2030 Agenda, and strengthen multilateralism and appealed to everyone to “make the world a better place for us and for those coming after us”.

Liz Scaffidi, UN NewsESCAFFIDI

  • Iraq: Rights report expresses concerns over ISIL fighter trials

  • Sudan: Violence pushes thousands to flee

  • New financial panel to push Global Goals forward

Audio Credit
Liz Scaffidi, UN News
Photo Credit
OCHA/Themba Linden