This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
COP26: World leaders urged to prioritize action on water and climate
“Accelerated action is urgently needed to address the water-related consequences of climate change that impact people and the planet.”
That’s the message from the head of the UN weather agency, WMO, and nine other international organizations, in a letter to world leaders ahead of the COP26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Here’s WMO Spokesperson Clare Nullis, speaking in Geneva on Friday:
“Climate change is dramatically affecting the water cycle. It’s making droughts and floods more extreme and frequent and decreasing the natural water storage in ice and snow. Rising temperature and variability in flow patterns and water bodies also strongly effect water quality in surface and ground waters.”
The partners laid out urgent priorities for world leaders, which include integrating water and climate into adaptation and resilience planning at the national and regional levels.
They also called for promoting and financing global water monitoring systems that provide timely information about current and future water availability.
Climate change driving up hunger: WFP
COP26, which begins on Sunday and runs through 12 November, is where countries will step up ambition to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Climate change is driving up hunger levels worldwide, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).
The agency warned that hunger will “balloon exponentially” unless countries act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Citing latest research, WFP said an additional 189 million people could become food insecure if global temperatures keep rising to the two degree mark.
And as many as 1.8 billion more people would be pushed into hunger if the Earth’s temperature were to rise four degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Viet Nam: Rights experts appeal for release of detained writer and activist
Turning to other news:
Authorities in Viet Nam must immediately and unconditionally release a writer and activist who faces “anti-State propaganda charges” and possibly up to 12 years in jail, a group of independent UN human rights experts said on Friday.
They said Pham Doan Trang “is only the latest victim of the authorities’ use of vaguely defined propaganda charges to persecute writers, journalists and human rights defenders.”
Ms. Trang was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City in October 2020 and subsequently detained. Her trial is set to start on 4 November.
“The arrest and detention of an individual exercising their right to freedom of expression to report on human rights issues is an arbitrary deprivation of liberty under international human rights law,” the UN experts said in a statement, adding that they are in contact with the Vietnamese authorities.
The experts were appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. They operate in their individual capacity and are neither UN staff, nor are they paid by the Organization.
Dianne Penn, UN News