News in Brief 20 March 2023
This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Sustainable future still possible if we take climate action now - climate panel
“If we act now, we can still secure a liveable future for all”, according to a major report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on Monday.
The new assessment is the first comprehensive report since the Paris Agreement on climate change, adopted in 2015.
Temperatures have already risen to 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a consequence of more than a century of burning fossil fuels and unsustainable energy and land use. The IPCC notes that this has resulted in more frequent and intense extreme weather events, with increasingly dangerous impacts on nature and people, including dramatic food and water insecurity.
If temperatures are to be kept to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the report states that deep, rapid, and sustained greenhouse gas emissions reductions will be needed in all sectors this decade. Its authors call for “climate resilient development” and increased climate investment.
In a video message released on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres described the report as a “how-to guide to defuse the climate time-bomb.”
“In short, our world needs climate action on all fronts -- everything, everywhere, all at once”, Mr. Guterres said.
Somalia drought may have caused 43,000 excess deaths last year
With Somalia enduring five consecutive failed rainy seasons, a “deepening drought” may have caused 43,000 excess deaths in 2022 – half of them in children under five. This is according to a new study by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Somali health ministry, released on Monday.
The study presents retrospective estimates of mortality across Somalia from January to December 2022. Building on forecasting models, it also estimates that up to 34,200 more people may die between January and June 2023.
According to the study, “although famine has been averted for now, the crisis is far from over and is already more severe than the 2017-2018 drought crisis.”
The drought has left five million people in acute food insecurity and nearly two million children at risk of malnutrition in Somalia. The UN needs more than $2.6 billion to provide humanitarian assistance to 7.6 million people this year.
Iran: possible crimes against humanity, absence of accountability - top rights expert
“The most serious human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran over the past four decades” have been committed since the death in police custody of Jina Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, said on Monday.
Here’s Mr. Rehman presenting his report to the Human Rights Council:
“The scale and gravity of the violations committed by Iranian authorities, especially since the death of Ms. Amini points to the possible commission of international crimes, notably the crimes against humanity of murder, imprisonment, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and sexual violence, and persecution.”
The UN-appointed independent expert slammed “so-called” investigations of Ms. Amini’s death that were “neither credible nor transparent”, underscoring that the perpetrators were not held accountable.
Ms. Amini’s death was “not an isolated event”, he said, but rather “the latest in a long series of extreme violence against women and girls committed by the Iranian authorities”.
Dominika Tomaszewska-Mortimer, UN News
- Sustainable future still possible if we take climate action now - climate panel
- Somalia drought may have caused 43,000 excess deaths last year
- Iran: possible crimes against humanity, absence of accountability - top rights expert