This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Coups have no place in world today, UN chief tells Myanmar military
UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday reiterated his “full support” for the people of Myanmar, three weeks after the military takeover that has brought thousands out onto the streets in protest.
“Coups have no place in today’s world”, Mr. Guterres said on the opening day of the 46th UN Human Rights Council.
A little over a week ago, the forum, which is the UN’s pre-eminent rights body, adopted a resolution condemning the junta’s move to take power.
Here’s the UN chief now:
“Today, I call on the Myanmar military to stop the repression immediately. Release the prisoners. End the violence. Respect human rights, and the will of the people expressed in recent elections. Coups have no place in our modern world. I welcome the resolution of the Human Rights Council, pledge to implement your request, and express my full support to the people of Myanmar in their pursuit of democracy, peace, human rights and the rule of law.”
Mr. Guterres’s comments followed his condemnation at the weekend of “deadly force” in demonstrations, in which a 14-year-old protester was reportedly killed in Mandalay, along with one other.
Rights chief Bachelet insists we have the chance to build back better after pandemic
Staying with the Human Rights Council, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet insisted on Monday that the best response to the pandemic will be to rebuild better - with more inclusive policies for those most in need.
After pointing out that the new coronavirus crisis had illustrated “deep inequalities and chronic under-funding for essential services”, Ms. Bachelet warned that the medical impact of the pandemic was “far from over”.
And although major problems such as the global rise in extreme poverty and setbacks to women's rights, education and the Sustainable Development Agenda were shocks that could “shake the foundations of societies”, the High Commissioner maintained that the world had the “possibility of rebuilding better, more inclusive systems”.
Only this new thinking will help us all to address the root causes of the challenges we face, she maintained, as States spend massively “to shore up and rebuild” their societies.
Condemnation for deadly attack on UN humanitarians in DR Congo
Finally, to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where three people have been killed while travelling in a UN World Food Programme convoy (WFP), which came under attack in the east of the country.
In a statement on Monday, the agency expressed its deepest sympathy and condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of those killed.
They have been identified as the Italian Ambassador to the DRC, Luca Attanasio, an Italian embassy official and a World Food Programme driver.
The development follows recent warnings from humanitarians about a spike in violence in the DR Congo’s vast east, where civilians are prey to armed militias who extort, kidnap and torch the homes of civilians displaced by 25 years of instability.
According to the World Food Programme, the delegation was travelling from Goma to visit a school feeding programme in Rutshuru at the time of the attack.
It happened on a road that had been cleared for travel without a security escort, according to WFP.
Here’s spokesperson Tomson Phiri:
“It’s a sad day for the World Food Programme (WFP) and we express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family, colleagues as well of friends of three people killed earlier today, in an attack …WFP is working with national authorities to determine the details behind the attack..we are also in close contact with the Italian authorities through our offices at our Rome headquarters as well as in the DRC.”
Tomson Phiri ending that item.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.