25 November 2022 News in Brief

25 November 2022 News in Brief

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations. 

Afghanistan: Taliban treatment of women may be crime against humanity  

UN-appointed independent human rights experts issued an alert on Friday that that the latest measures targeting women and girls by Afghanistan’s de facto authorities may be a crime against humanity. 

In at least one region, young women were recently blocked from entering their university, the experts said, adding that confining women to their homes was “tantamount to imprisonment”. 

Men have reportedly been suffered brutal beatings by Taliban officers for accompanying women wearing “colourful clothing”, according to the experts, who also noted that for months, women human rights defenders “have been increasingly targeted, beaten, and arrested”. 

Tigray: High hunger levels despite stepped-up aid  WFP 

To Ethiopia, where the UN World Food Programme – WFP – said that despite improved aid access to the war-torn north, climate change and drought gravely threaten millions with malnutrition.  

Following the signing of a peace agreement between armed Tigray opposition groups and government forces earlier this month, WFP has delivered over 2,400 tonnes of food, medical, nutrition and other lifesaving supplies to Tigray – enough to feed around 170,000 people. 

While all four road corridors into Tigray have reopened, deliveries “are not matching” the scale of need, the UN agency said, appealing for access to all parts of the region to deliver food and nutrition assistance to 2.3 million people.   

For the first time, UN Humanitarian Air Service flights are operating into Shire airport in Tigray, carrying passengers and relief items.  

Biological weapons discussions must reflect our changed world 

To Geneva finally, where States are preparing to gather on Monday to review the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. It prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons. 

Key issues include kickstarting deadlocked discussions on a verification mechanism to prevent countries from developing biothreats. 

Here’s the designated President of the review conference, Italy’s Leonardo Bencini: 

“A lot of countries still want to restart negotiations on legally binding protocols, I don’t think we can a consensus around this, but I believe that we can find a consensus around, as I said, the way forward to restart discussions on the issue of verification and compliance”. 

Unlike nuclear weapons development, almost any scientific facility could be weaponized to make a bio threat. 

Ambassador Bencini insisted that COVID-19 had also highlighted the need for the Biological Weapons Convention to be updated, to take into account the danger of a global pandemic-like threat to humans, animals and plant life. 

One of the new measures under consideration is for an “open and transparent” international scientific “code of conduct” – to “make it more difficult for anybody to develop programmes without other colleagues knowing this”, Ambassador Bencini said. 

Daniel Johnson, UN News

  • Afghanistan: Taliban treatment of women may be crime against humanity  

  • Tigray: High hunger levels despite stepped-up aid – WFP 

  • Biological weapons discussions must reflect our changed world 

Audio Credit
Daniel Johnson, UN News Geneva
Photo Credit
Sayed Habib Bidel/UNWomen