This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Impact on workers of COVID-19 is ‘catastrophic’: ILO
COVID-19 has had a “catastrophic” impact on workers, the head of the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday, with lost working hours higher than originally forecast and equivalent to 495 million full-time jobs globally in the second quarter of the year.
The bleak news from ILO Director-General Guy Ryder coincided with an updated mid-year forecast from the UN body.
Lower and middle-income countries have suffered most, with an estimated 23.3 per cent drop in working hours – equivalent to 240 million jobs - in the second quarter of the year.
Workers in developing nations have also seen their income drop more than 15 per cent, Mr Ryder told journalists in Geneva:
“On top of this, these are the places where there are the weakest social protection systems, so there are very few resources or protections for working people to fall back upon. If you look at it regionally, the Americas were worst-affected, with a drop in labour incomes of just over 12 per cent, 12.1 per cent.”
Mr. Ryder highlighted that while the Governments of richer countries had shored up their economies with hundreds of billions of dollars, poorer nations had been unable to do the same.
Without such fiscal stimulus, working hours losses would have been 28 per cent between April and June, instead of 17.3 per cent, he insisted.
Mali: independent rights expert calls for ‘immediate release’ of former officials detained during coup
Mali’s coup leaders should release former senior government officials who’ve been detained for more than a month since they seized power, a UN-appointed independent rights expert said on Wednesday.
At least 13 of the 18 people arrested after the coup d’état are still being held illegally, at the Kati military camp in Bamako, said Alioune Tine, in a statement.
The development follows previous appeals by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the African Union.
Those still detained include the former prime minister, the former president of the National Assembly and other former Malian officials, said Mr. Tine, who insisted that there was no legal basis for them to remain in custody.
In an appeal to the leaders of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), the rights expert urged them to comply with Mali’s international rights obligations and release “everyone” who had been arrested during the coup – and allow their families and lawyers to visit.
South Sudan’s ‘epic’ corruption is preventing country’s peaceful future
Corruption on an “epic scale” is destroying any chance of a peaceful future for the people of South Sudan, the Human Rights Council heard on Wednesday.
Chair of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, Yasmin Sooka, told Member States that lives were being destroyed by graft, during a debate about terrible abuses still happening in the war-torn country.
Looting and pillage were arguably the main drivers of the conflict, Ms. Sooka said.
She insisted that while political elites were fighting for control of the country’s oil and mineral resources, soldiers were still being offered the chance to abduct and rape women, instead of receiving salaries.
Echoing those concerns, the UN’s deputy rights chief Nada Al-Nashif highlighted an increase in intercommunal violence between January and July this year, particularly in Jonglei, Lakes, Warrap, Unity and Western Bahr el Ghazal states.
Ms Al-Nashif also welcomed positive developments regarding the Revitalised Peace Agreement since the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity in February, although implementation had been slow, she added.
Finally, to New York and UN headquarters, where it’s day two of the General Assembly’s big debate session of world leaders – and the 75th time that the event has been held since the United Nations was founded.
This year’s event is almost totally virtual, but there’s still plenty to follow.
If you want to do so, just go to our website : unnews.org
Daniel Johnson, UN News.