This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Guterres hails entry into force of treaty seeking nuclear weapons ban
The first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in more than two decades came into force just after midnight on Friday, a development hailed by the UN Secretary-General as “an important step” towards a world free from weapons of mass destruction.
In his message, the UN chief commended the States that had ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
António Guterres also welcomed the “instrumental role” of civil society in the negotiation and entry into force of the pact.
The survivors of nuclear explosions and nuclear tests offered tragic testimonies and were a moral force behind the Treaty, he said, adding that its entry into force was a “tribute to their enduring advocacy”.
The accord was approved initially by 122 nations at the UN General Assembly in 2017. It secured the 50 ratifications it needed to enter into force at the end of last October.
The main nuclear powers of the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and France, have not signed the treaty.
Darfur’s health centres ‘unable to cope’ with intercommunal violence
Deadly intercommunal violence in Sudan’s Darfur region that has forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes is likely to flare up again because of a lack of security and “chronic impunity”.
That’s the message from the UN human rights office, OHCHR, which expressed concern about two deadly incidents in Darfur over the past week.
The first happened in west Darfur, where 160 people were reportedly killed and 215 injured in clashes between armed men from the Masalit and Arab communities around Krinding camp, causing mass displacement.
A further 72 died in a separate incident in South Darfur’s Gereida locality, following clashes between armed men from the Falata and Reizigat tribe.
OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said that this incident was triggered by the killing of a 10-year-old boy, whose search for his camels took him across land belonging to the Falata tribe.
“These incidents raise serious concerns about the imminent risk of further violence in Darfur, in an environment where decades-old ethnic and tribal tensions that were further stoked by the previous regime continue to fester. There are severe gaps in protection by State authorities, as well as a lack of accountability for violations. Local health facilities have reported being unable to cope with the high number of casualties.”
Ms. Shamdasani urged the Government of Sudan to fully implement its civilian protection plan and to restore public order and the rule of law in Darfur.
According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), 3,500 new Sudanese refugees have arrived in eastern Chad, after fleeing the Darfur violence, which has also claimed the lives of three aid workers.
Migrants need fair access to COVID-19 vaccine, say UN Special Rapporteurs
Two UN human rights experts have urged States to ensure that migrants are included in national COVID-19 vaccination programmes.
In their appeal on Friday, UN Special Rapporteurs Felipe González Morales and Tlaleng Mofokeng said that global access to COVID-19 vaccines “for everyone who needs them is the only solution” to ending the pandemic.
This included priority groups of vulnerable people “regardless of who they are” and their migration status, said the rights experts, who do not work for the UN and are appointed by the Human Rights Council.
The Special Rapporteurs also called on world leaders to refrain from discriminatory discourse that could lead to the exclusion of migrants in irregular situations from the global public health response.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.