News in Brief 17 November 2022

News in Brief 17 November 2022

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

UN Secretary-General welcomes renewal of Black Sea Grain Initiative

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has welcomed the renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which had been due to expire on Saturday.

More than 11.1 million tonnes of agricultural products, including 4.5 million tonnes of corn and 3.2 million tonnes of wheat, have been shipped as part of the agreement, involving Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and the UN, since it was signed on 22 July.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr. Guterres said that he was “deeply moved” and grateful that an agreement had been reached.

The UN chief also expressed his deep commitment to remove the “remaining obstacles to the unimpeded exports of Russian food and fertilizers”, as these remain “essential” to avoid a food crisis next year.

UN experts condemn Israeli attacks against Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro

Israel must immediately lift the so-called “closed military zone” it has imposed on the house of prominent Palestinian human rights defender, Issa Amro, UN-appointed independent human rights experts said on Thursday.

Israeli occupation forces established the “zone” around Amro’s house at the end of October, a day after he tried to file a police complaint over Israeli settler violence.

Amro, who is an internationally respected human rights defender and a civil society leader, regularly receives death threats from settlers and Israeli Forces, said the experts.

His house, in Hebron in the occupied West Bank, also serves as a community centre of the Palestinian civil society organisation, Youth Against Settlements.

The experts said that the house closure raises serious concerns about freedom of association and assembly in the occupied Palestinian territory. They have called on Israel to stop attacks on Palestinian human rights organisations and human rights defenders.

Southwest Pacific temperatures increasing at over 3 times global average: WMO

Sea surface temperatures and ocean heat in parts of the southwest Pacific are increasing at more than three times the global average and harming vital ecosystems, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which says that sea level rise poses an existential threat to low-lying islands and their people.

The climate update shows how weather-related disasters are undermining socio-economic development, and threatening health, food and water security.

It provides a snapshot of climate indicators such as temperatures, sea level rise, ocean heat and acidification and extreme weather, alongside risks and impacts.

In 2021, the region reported 57 natural hazards, 93 per cent of which were floods and storms. Overall, 14.3 million people were directly affected by these disasters, causing total economic damage of $ 5.7 billion.

The report highlights big gaps in observing systems and early warning services in the region, which will be one of the priority target areas of a new UN Early Warnings for All initiative.

Nicki Chadwick, UN News.

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  • UN Secretary-General welcomes renewal of Black Sea Grain Initiative
  • UN experts condemn Israeli attacks against Palestinian rights defender Issa Amro
  • Sea temperatures in parts of Pacific, three times global average: WMO
Audio Credit
Nicki Chadwick, UN News
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© WFP/Mohammed Nasher