This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
UN appalled by attack on civilians and humanitarians in Nigeria
Violent attacks by non-state armed groups in northeast Nigeria have been condemned by the UN after dozens of civilians were killed, including a four-year old girl.
Two attacks in Monguno and Nganzai at the weekend follow another, just days ago in Gubio, where more than 80 villagers were reportedly killed.
In the attack on Monguno, non-state actors appeared to target the international aid hub there, where UN and NGO vehicles were torched.
The UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, expressed his sympathy for the victims and their families. He added that he was appalled by the continued violence in Borno State.
Some 25 aid organisations provide assistance to more than 150,000 internally displaced persons in Monguno, which is in the northeastern part of Borno State.
Together with aid partners, the UN is working to bring urgent aid and curtail the spread of COVID-19 in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, where 10.6 million people need help.
Atomic agency launches initiative to prevent future pandemics
A global network of laboratories that can detect emerging and re-emerging animal to human diseases, has been launched by the UN’s atomic agency, it has announced.
Using nuclear or nuclear-derived techniques, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) project will result in coordinated monitoring, surveillance, early detection and control of emerging and re-emerging zoonotic illnesses.
Known as the Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action project – ZODIAC, for short – it gives Member States access to equipment, technology, expertise, guidance and training to enable them to act quickly against future potential health threats.
It comes after the agency highlighted how many countries had insufficient capacity to detect viruses and other threats to human health, along with inadequate lab equipment in many developing countries, and the need for better communication between health institutions throughout the world.
Human Rights Council picks up again after COVID suspension, to hold racism debate
The Human Rights Council has given the green light to a rare Urgent Debate on racism, alleged police brutality and violence against protesters sickened by the killing of American George Floyd in police custody.
The move, initiated by the Council’s African Group and coordinated by Burkina Faso, comes after a call from more than 600 rights groups to investigate alleged police violence after Mr Floyd’s death.
The provisional date of the Urgent Debate on “current racially inspired human rights violations, systematic racism, police brutality and the violence against peaceful protests”, is fixed for Wednesday 17 June at 3pm.
It is not clear whether any members of Mr Floyd’s family have been invited to address the Council, but a draft resolution will be prepared by the African Group.
Here’s Council President Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, speaking to journalists:
“As you have seen with demonstrations all over the world, including here in Geneva, so this is a topic that is not about just one country, it goes well beyond that.”
Ambassador Tichy-Fisslberger there.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.