This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
World likely to hit watershed 1.5C rise in next five years: WMO
Odds are increasing that the average global temperature will rise beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, in at least one of the next five years, the UN weather agency has announced.
In a new report issued on Thursday, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said there was a 40 per cent chance that the watershed global warming mark will be met by 2025 - and these odds are increasing with time.
Head of the UN agency, Professor Petteri Taalas, warned that increasing temperatures meant “more melting ice, higher sea levels, more heatwaves and other extreme weather”, along with “greater impacts on food security, health, the environment and sustainable development”.
The World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General also noted that it was now possible “to track greenhouse gas emissions back to their sources” in order to slash emissions and achieve carbon neutrality.
UN rights chief calls for inclusive Middle East peace process
UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet has called for a “genuine and inclusive peace process” to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and a repeat of possible war crimes, in a special session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
In comments on Thursday – which stopped short of supporting a call for an international investigation into the recent deadly escalation - Ms. Bachelet condemned indiscriminate rocket attacks by Gaza’s de facto authority Hamas which claimed 10 lives in Israel - and strikes inside the enclave by Israeli Security Forces that left 242 dead.
“Airstrikes in such densely populated areas resulted in a high level of civilian fatalities and injuries as well as the widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure. If found to be indiscriminate and disproportionate in their impact on civilians and civilian objects, such attacks may constitute war crimes.”
The High Commissioner for Human Rights also welcomed the 21 May ceasefire but warned that it would only be “a matter of time” until the next flare-up, unless the root causes of this latest escalation were addressed.
In reply, Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Meirav Eilon Shahar, said that “all measures” had been taken to protect civilians but that Hamas had “intentionally” hid beneath residential buildings, maternity wards and mosques.
UN peacekeeper hailed for promoting gender equality in Darfur
Finally, to the universal issue of gender equality and how one peacekeeper made this key UN objective a reality for thousands of women in Darfur.
The story begins with the women of the west Sudan region, who’ve suffered displacement, sexual violence and political marginalization, linked to longstanding armed conflict there.
Enter Major Steplyne Nyaboga of Kenya, who recently completed her deployment with the joint UN-African Union Mission in Darfur, UNAMID.
It was she who set up patrols so that women in Zalingei could access their farmlands in peace.
Major Nyaboga also organized workshops aimed at addressing issues that affect Darfuri women and by the end of the mission’s operations in December, she had also trained nearly 95 per cent of the military staff on critical protection issues, such as sexual and gender-based violence.
In recognition of Major Nyaboga’s achievement, UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday presented her with the Military Gender Advocate of the Year award.
Her “hands-on approach” had made a profound difference for her colleagues and for the people of Darfur, Mr Guterres maintained, before insisting that the United Nations remained committed to ensuring that women’s voices were heard in political discussions.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.