This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Greta Thunberg joins forces with UN for COVID-19 busting scheme
An initiative uniting climate activist Greta Thunberg and the UN health agency launched on Monday to give young activists the opportunity to get funding for innovative solutions to the impact of COVID-19.
The scheme, which is called Global Youth Mobilization, in association with the “Big Six Youth Organizations” comes as hundreds of millions of young people continue to feel the strain of the pandemic.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nine in 10 have reported increased mental anxiety during the last 15 months and more than one billion students in almost every country have been impacted by school closures.
More than eight in 10 young women are worried about their future and one in six young people worldwide have lost their jobs during the pandemic, the health agency noted.
Head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, insisted that the agency wanted to be sure that young people’s “voices, energy and solutions” were at the centre of the world’s recovery from COVID-19.
An initial $2 million of funding will be available, from $500 through to $5,000.
Applications will be possible via a centralized platform which is available in multiple languages.
For more information, visit: www.globalyouthmobilization.org
Judicial independence weakened and under threat in Guatemala
To Guatemala now, where a UN-appointed independent rights expert has voiced concerns over alleged ongoing harassment and intimidation of judges.
UN Special Rapporteur Diego García-Sayán spoke out on Monday after Congress’s refused to re-appoint a top lawmaker who is known for her human-rights-based approach, to the country’s Constitutional Court.
Judge Gloria Porras – who is the former president of the court - was re-elected in March; she had been due to resume her duties for another five-year term last week, until Congress refused to her swearing-in.
The judge faces an impeachment investigation and Congress has also established an investigative commission to withdraw her immunity, said the UN Special Rapporteur.
The Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers also noted that a number of politicians affected by her decisions as President of the Constitutional Court have already threatened to file civil and criminal action against her.
UK’s racism and ethnic difference report ‘could fuel discrimination’
An official UK report into racism and ethnic disparities distorts and falsifies historic fact and could even fuel racism, discrimination and negative racial stereotypes, UN-appointed rights experts said on Monday.
The United Kingdom’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which was set up by the Government after the Black Lives Matter protests began last year, presented its report in March.
In a statement, the UN Working Group of Experts of People of African Descent challenged the report’s assertion that while there might be overt acts of racism in the UK, there was no institutional racism.
The panel said that despite “considerable research and evidence of institutional racism”, the report attempts to “normalize” white supremacy.
This was “an unfortunate sidestepping of the opportunity to acknowledge the atrocities of the past and the contributions of all in order to move forward”, the UN panel maintained.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.