This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
UN climate report a ‘red alert’ for the planet: Guterres
National goals to tackle climate change are “nowhere close” to where they should be, to reduce global warming, UN chief António Guterres said on Friday.
The Secretary-General’s comments accompanied publication of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change report.
Researchers examined national goals ahead of the climate summit in Glasgow in November and they said that their findings were a “red alert” for the planet.
“Governments are nowhere close to the level of ambition needed to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement”, Mr. Guterres said, in response to the report’s conclusions.
He insisted that 2021 is a “make-or-break year” to confront the global climate emergency.
“The science is clear, to limit global temperature rise …we must cut global emission by 45 per cent by 2030, from 2010 levels”, he added, before calling for countries that produce most greenhouse gases to hit “much more ambitious emissions reductions” targets by 2030.
People falling even further behind in COVID-19 crisis, says UN rights chief
The UN’s top rights official warned on Friday that COVID-19 has meant that people are “being left behind – or pushed even further behind” – as the pandemic gathers pace.
“In every region of the world” Michelle Bachelet maintained that people were being excluded from development and opportunities – and that civil society activists were being denied their right to voice opposition to government.
“This makes us all weaker. It heightens grievances that are destabilizing. It means we miss perspectives and expertise that could inform and strengthen our initiatives. It shields corruption and abuses, by silencing feedback,” she told the Human Rights Council in Geneva, whose latest session is meeting almost entirely virtually.
In a wide-ranging speech spotlighting situations of concern in some 50 countries, the High Commissioner for Human Rights acknowledged the major health and economic challenges facing Governments everywhere because of the new coronavirus crisis.
But she insisted that “a country's people are its leader's finest and most important resource” and that the best way to make “better, more effective” decisions – and heal and bridge “deep fractures” in society, was to let them have a role in shaping policy.
Condemnation over new attack on Nigerian school, hundreds of girls missing
An attack on a secondary school in north-west Nigeria in which possibly more than 300 girls are still missing has been condemned by the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF.
It comes after dozens of students and teachers were taken from a school in central Nigeria’s Niger state last week; they have yet to be released.
UNICEF representative in the country, Peter Hawkins, urged the assailants to let the teenagers go immediately.
He described their ordeal as a “gross violation” of their rights and one which could have long-lasting effects on their mental health and well-being.
According to reports, the attack happened in the middle of the night at the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara State.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.