This is the news in brief from the United Nations
Women the ‘driving force’ for peacebuilding in Colombia: Deputy UN chief
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has stressed on Friday, the importance of the full implementation of Colombia's 2016 peace agreement.
At the end of a 48-hour virtual visit to the Latin American country, Ms. Mohammed also highlighted how rural areas hit hard by both violence and COVID-19 needed sustained support.
She told journalists that immediate priorities were the creation of development opportunities, improved security and the increased presence of Government, after decades of civil war and the ongoing pandemic.
“This is the time to think about measures to rebuild better, to leave no-one behind and to achieve sustainable peace”, she said in an online press conference.
The deputy UN chief also welcomed the role of women in ensuring that the 2016 peace deal was implemented in full.
She spoke about meeting young women peacebuilders in Vista Hermosa, an area deeply affected by armed conflict, and of their commitment to finding peace and dignity for their communities.
Although the peace deal “is not without challenges”, Ms. Mohammed insisted that the UN stood with Colombians seeking to implement the peace deal “to support the growing momentum for economic and social reintegration for all”.
Israel: Accountability call as illegal settlement approvals reach highest rate
To Israel now, and a call for accountability by international rights expert Michael Lynk, after its approval for construction of nearly 5,000 new settlement homes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The Israeli decision contravenes international norms, said Mr. Lynk, who was
appointed as a Special Rapporteur by the UN Human Rights Council in 2016.
“The international community must answer this grave breach of international law with more than mere criticism”, he said in a statement.
Earlier this month, an Israeli defence ministry committee approved plans for 4,948 more homes, taking the total number this year to more than 12,000.
Previously announced plans to annex settlements in August had been “shelved”, the rights expert said, but judging by what he called “unrelenting settlement growth”, the de facto incorporation of Palestinian territory into Israel had not.
At the same time, Mr. Lynk claimed that Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes and properties was increasing; he cited a Palestinian rights organization which counted 177 properties demolished from July to September -- nearly as many as the 186 destroyed in the first six months of the year.
Kenya relief bid begins to avert hunger crisis among poor workers hit by COVID
In Kenya, a major UN-led cash and nutrition relief project is underway for informal workers facing a COVID-19-related hunger crisis.
For the World Food Programme (WFP), Kenya Country Director Lauren Landis said that the pandemic had caused terrible suffering, “especially to families living in the poor urban areas”.
While they normally rely on informal day-to-day work, the coronavirus has left many families in the coastal region “struggling just to feed themselves”, Ms. Landis added.
In addition to 300,000 people in Nairobi receiving aid over the next four months, 100,000 more on the coast in Mombasa will be getting help, amidst slumping tourism and work.
Once a month, each selected family will receive $40 in local currency; enough to cover half of the monthly food and nutrition needs for a household of four.
Throughout Kenya, some 1.7 million people living in informal settlements have been affected by the COVID crisis as infection numbers continue to surge, according to WFP.
Outside Kenya, which is Africa’s third-largest economy, WFP warned that countries with large numbers of urban poor faced similar food insecurity.
These include Nigeria, Africa’s wealthiest nation, where the agency recently announced measures to help struggling families.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.