News in Brief 21 October 2020

News in Brief 21 October 2020

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations. 

UN chief calls for end to reported police brutality in Nigeria 

The UN Secretary-General is closely following recent developments across Nigeria, in the wake of reports that protesters had been shot dead and wounded, calling for “an end to reported police brutality and abuses.” 

António Guterres said in a statement issued by his Spokesperson on Wednesday, that he condemned “the violent escalation” that took place allegedly involving army personnel and police in Lagos, “which resulted in multiple deaths and caused many injuries.” 

According to witnesses, Nigerian security forces opened fire on Tuesday night in Africa’s largest city as protests continued over a new-disbanded and discredited police unit, known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, or Sars. 

The Government has pledged to carry out further police reforms, and improve police accountability.  

Mr. Guterres urged security forces “to act at all times with maximum restraint while calling on protestors to demonstrate peacefully and to refrain from violence.” 

UN urges people to #PledgetoPause before sharing online 

With the COVID-19 pandemic sparking a “communications emergency” caused by false information spread via social media, the UN Secretary-General is encouraging people everywhere to take a breath, before sharing content online. 

António Guterres on Wednesday launched the #PledgetoPause campaign as part of wider efforts to create what the UN hopes will be “a new social media norm” to help beat real “fake news”. 

The campaign is based on research which indicates that taking a brief pause before sharing information can significantly lessen the urge to share falsehoods. 

Here’s the UN chief: 

 “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the wrong information can be deadly. Take the pledge to pause and help stop the spread of misinformation.” 

Mediterranean facing irreversible damage, unless urgent action is taken 

Rising inequality, biodiversity loss, the growing impact of climate change and unrelenting pressure on natural resources, could lead to irreversible environmental damage in the Mediterranean Sea, according to a new report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). 

Published on Wednesday, the State of the Environment and Development in the Mediterranean finds that unless urgent and resolute action is taken, environmental degradation could have serious and lasting consequences for human health and livelihoods in the region.  

Last published in 2009, the report from UNEP’s Plan Bleu, attributes 15 per cent of deaths in the Mediterranean to preventable environmental factors, while in 2016, more than 228,000 people died prematurely from exposure to air pollution.  

Matt Wells, UN News.  

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  • UN chief calls for end to reported police brutality in Nigeria 

  • UN urges people to #PledgetoPause before sharing online 

  • Mediterranean facing irreversible damage, unless urgent action is taken 

Audio Credit
Matt Wells, UN News
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Unsplash/Gideon Oladimeji