This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Sustainability is byword for ocean protection, declares Guterres at UN conference
As country leaders gathered in Portugal on Monday to chart a sustainable future for the world’s oceans, UN chief António Guterres urged the international community to unite and tackle the damage being done.
Speaking at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Mr. Guterres outlined four recommendations to ensure that the tide is reversed.
These included the urgent need to invest sustainably in economies that depend on the sea:
“We must protect the oceans, and the people whose lives and livelihoods depend on them, from the impacts of climate change. All new coastal infrastructure investments from cities and villages to port installations, should be climate-resilient. The shipping sector should commit to net zero emissions by 2050, and present credible plans to implement these commitments.”
Failure to take action risks all of the Sustainable Development Goals because the world’s oceans play such a critical role in our survival, covering 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface and generating half of the oxygen we need.
After 120 days of war, Ukraine’s humanitarian situation continues to worsen
After fresh shelling of Kyiv over the weekend, UN humanitarians warned on Monday that the situation in the east of Ukraine is dire and deteriorating.
In its latest update on the crisis after more than four months of war, UN aid coordinating agency OCHA said that relief access remains “restricted and at times, impossible” in parts of Donbas region.
The situation is particularly bad in Sievierodonetsk in Luhansk oblast – which saw Ukrainian troops withdraw in recent days - and in eastern Donetsk oblast, OCHA said in a tweet.
Since the Russian invasion on 24 February, there have been more than 10,000 civilian casualties, including 4,662 confirmed deaths and over 5,800 confirmed injured.
Despite access problems, on 20 June, a 12-truck UN aid convoy delivered critical supplies for 64,000 people in Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in the government-controlled area of Donetsk oblast.
So far, 8.85 million people have received humanitarian assistance since the war started.
80 per cent of people displaced by climate change are women, UN rights council hears
To the UN Human Rights Council, which heard on Monday how women often suffer the harshest and most violent consequences of climate change.
Speaking at the forum in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that 80 per cent of people displaced by climate change were women, and this left them especially vulnerable to sexual abuse:
“While they sleep, wash, bathe or dress in emergency shelters, tents or camps, the risk of sexual violence is a tragic reality of their lives as migrants or refugees.”
The UN rights chief explained that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the US in 2005, the rape of women sheltering in trailer parks rose by more than 53 times the usual rate, in the state of Mississippi.
Similar trends were observed after two tropical cyclones in 2011 in Vanuatu, where domestic violence increased by 300 per cent, Ms. Bachelet also said.
The Council also heard the High Commissioner explain how in Nepal, after the 2015 earthquake there, there was a four-fold increase in trafficking, while Bangladesh saw spikes in early marriages that coincided with the 1998 and 2004 floods.
To ensure that tomorrow’s climate change policies fit with the needs of women and girls, Ms. Bachelet urged nations to protect women rights activists in particular, pointing out that in Mexico and Central America between 2016 and 2019, there were nearly 1,700 acts of violence against women environmental defenders.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.
- UN chief urges all nations to save the ocean at key conference in Portugal
- Ukraine Donbas situation ‘dire’ and deteriorating: OCHA
- Women at far greater risk of sexual violence than men from climate change: Bachelet