This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Military control ‘serious blow’ to democratic reforms in Myanmar: UN chief
UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet has added her voice to UN Secretary-General António Guterres and others in condemning the military coup in Myanmar and the detention of the country’s top political leaders.
Ms. Bachelet was alarmed by reports that “at least 45 people have been detained,” including Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint and called for their immediate release.
She also highlighted reports of journalists being “harassed or attacked”, along with restrictions on the internet and social media – actions that would restrict information and freedom of expression at a critical time for the country.
The UN chief voiced his “grave concern” regarding the declared transfer of all legislative, executive and judicial powers to the military, describing them as a “serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar.”
The development follows escalating tensions between the government and the military since last November’s general elections, when the Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD) secured over 80 per cent of the seats, according to media reports.
Libya vote offers renewal and reconciliation chance, says veteran UN negotiator
All Libyans have a chance at national reconciliation and renewal once a new executive is put to a vote this week by the country’s representatives, who have begun meeting in Switzerland, UN negotiator Stephanie Williams said on Monday.
Ms. Williams, who is the Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya, told the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum that their fellow citizens were counting on them to bring an end to years of violence.
The primary task of the “temporary unified executive authority” was to take Libya towards the “sacred goal” of national elections on 24 December after years of violent conflict, the UN official said.
“This project is not about power sharing or dividing the cake. Rather, it is to form a temporary government composed of patriots who agree to shoulder and share the responsibility to put Libyan sovereignty and the security, prosperity and welfare of the Libyan people above narrow interests and far from the spectre of foreign interference.”
The temporary executive for Libya will comprise a three-member Presidency Council and a sole Prime Minister, who hail from all political and social components of the Libyan society,” Ms. Williams added, before insisting that the process could only take place “when the guns are silent”.
Nicaragua: rights expert urges to improve protection of environmental defenders
The alleged murder of an indigenous environmental defender in Nicaragua must be investigated, a UN-appointed independent rights expert said on Monday.
The appeal follows the killing last November of Nacilio Macario on Nicaragua's northern Caribbean coast, reportedly by illegal gold miners and loggers.
UN Special Rapporteur Mary Lawlor insisted that the authorities had a duty to ensure a safe and supportive environment for those who defend the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples in Nicaragua.
"This time it was Mr Macario who had stood up to the industry and paid with his life, she said, warning that such murders “will continue to be carried out with impunity" unless investigations were launched.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.