This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Support Afghans in their most perilous hour, urges UN’s Guterres
The international community should urgently show support for millions of vulnerable Afghans “who face perhaps their most perilous hour”, the UN Secretary-General said on Monday.
Leading the appeal in Geneva for some $600 million to support emergency humanitarian aid across Afghanistan, António Guterres said that even before the Taliban takeover last month, people were in the grip of one of the worst crises in the world.
One in two Afghans do not know where their next meal is coming from, the UN chief explained, adding that “many people could run out of food by the end of the month, just as winter approaches”.
The flash appeal for food, life-saving interventions and essential health care – including maternal health care – comes against a backdrop of deep concern that women’s rights are under threat from Afghanistan’s new rulers.
Bachelet warns of deteriorating human rights situation in Afghanistan
Speaking at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, stressed the extent of the humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan.
It had entered “a new and perilous phase”, she maintained, while many Afghans were also “profoundly concerned for their human rights, particularly women, ethnic and religious communities”.
Ms. Bachelet’s comments followed a warning from her office, OHCHR, that whips, batons and live ammunition have been used on peaceful protesters in the last week.
Unauthorized assemblies have been banned and telecommunications companies have been told to cut the internet on mobile phones in specific areas of Kabul, OHCHR warned last Friday.
Alluding to those concerns at the high-level conference in Geneva, the UN Secretary-General highlighted the need for food, life-saving interventions and essential health care for the people of Afghanistan.
And he insisted that “robust mechanisms” had been established to coordinate humanitarian efforts that were anchored in human rights.
Nuclear watchdog announces deal with Iran over surveillance
The UN atomic watchdog has reached an agreement with Iran, following access to surveillance cameras at the country’s nuclear facilities.
The deal was struck during a visit to Tehran by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, it said.
During “constructive” talks with the deputy of Iran’s nuclear programme, Mohammad Eslami, it was agreed that new memory cards would be installed in cameras that monitor the country’s nuclear programme.
The existing cards showing Iranian activity at its main nuclear sites will be sealed and kept in Iran, the IAEA said in a joint statement on Sunday.
The development comes ahead of a meeting of the IAEA's governing panel this week; it could avert the formal censure of Iran for failing to co-operate with an investigation into traces of uranium found at undeclared nuclear sites.
Katy Dartford, UN News.