This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
UN chief to lead call for Afghanistan humanitarian appeal
UN chief António Guterres will lead the call from the international community to help the people of Afghanistan, at a funding conference in Geneva.
The Secretary-General’s office said that he intends to travel to the Swiss city to push for a “swift scale-up in funding”, so that lifesaving aid operation can continue.
The development comes after UN emergency relief chief Martin Griffiths travelled to Kabul at the weekend to meet the Taliban leadership.
During their encounter on Sunday, Mr. Griffiths called for the protection of all civilians, “especially women and girls and minorities”.
In Geneva, Mr. Guterres is expected to appeal for “full and unimpeded” access to make sure that Afghans continue to get the essential services they need.
UN humanitarians estimate that they need 606 million dollars to help 11 million people until the end of the year.
Even before the mass displacement caused by the recent Taliban takeover, almost half the Afghan population were already in need of aid, because of protracted conflict, severe drought and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today in Afghanistan, half of the population, or 18 million people, depend upon humanitarian assistance to survive.
Australia must drop coal ‘or see climate change cause economic havoc’: UN adviser
Climate change will “wreak havoc” across the Australian economy if coal is not rapidly phased out, the UN Special Adviser on Climate Action, warned on Monday.
In a keynote speech to an Australian National University forum, Selwin Hart joined calls for the government to adopt more ambitious emissions reduction goals. The senior UN official reiterated the UN Secretary-General’s call for wealthy countries such as Australia to stop using coal by 2030 – and for others to do so by 2040.
Most developed countries have signed up to a target of net zero emissions by 2050, Mr. Hart said.
He noted that the world is way off track from meeting the 1.5 degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement – a critical threshold for preventing the worst impacts of climate change.
“National Governments responsible for 73 per cent of global emissions have now committed to net zero by mid-century. We urge Australia to join them as a matter of urgency,” Mr. Hart said.
Conservation rights defenders killed with shocking frequency, says UN rights chief
Rights defenders who stand up for the environment are killed with “shocking frequency”, warned UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet in a call to countries to do more to protect them.
In her address to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the High Commissioner for Human Rights cited the not-for-profit, Frontline Defenders, which said that two-thirds of the more than 330 rights defenders killed in 2020 were involved in environmental protection.
Ms. Bachelet highlighted the June killing of Luis Mendoza, a member of the Yaqui people, who was shot and killed in Mexico – calling it “the latest of a long line of attacks taking place in the context of the struggle to defend their traditional territories and waters”.
After urging States to “step up” for human rights defenders, Ms. Bachelet welcomed efforts by the conservation union to push Governments to provide systematic protection for those at risk.
Katy Dartford, UN News.