This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Honour Mandela’s legacy by fighting for equality and justice, says UN chief
The world would do well to take inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s spirit of humanity, dignity and justice, at a time when poverty, hunger and inequality are on the rise.
That’s the message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres ahead of Nelson Mandela Day, observed on Tuesday, the anniversary of the late anti-apartheid icon’s birthday.
Mr. Guterres insisted that the legacy of this “giant of our times” is best honoured by taking steps to fight racism, break free from the legacy of colonialism and promote human rights.
The UN chief underscored that as the world was facing the climate crisis and a debt crunch made worse by an “unfair and outdated” financial system, it was in humanity’s power to solve these problems.
Russia: UN experts call for release of journalist Evan Gershkovich
The journalist Evan Gershkovich should be immediately released following his arrest by Russian authorities on espionage charges in March, UN-appointed independent experts said on Monday.
Mariana Katzarova, Special Rapporteur on human rights in Russia and Irene Khan, Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said that his arbitrary arrest and indictment onserious criminal charges were an example of the “severe clamp down” on independent journalism in Russia since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine 17 months ago.
The United States citizen and Wall Street Journal correspondent was accused of acting on orders from his country to gather “State secrets” and he could be sentenced to 20 years in a penal colony.
According to the experts’ statement, to date, the prosecution has not publicly presented any evidence to substantiate the allegations.
The human rights experts expressed alarm over the recent uptick in the use of the espionage and treason provisions of Russia’s Criminal Code to arrest individuals, saying that in the first six months of 2023, at least 43 people had been charged with treason.
Devastating violations against Indigenous Peoples’ rights must stop: Türk
Indigenous Peoples have the ancestral wisdom to guide humanity towards a more sustainable use of Earth’s resources, yet they are systematically discriminated against and excluded, UN rights chief Volker Türk warned on Monday.
Here he is, speaking in Geneva at an annual meeting on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, about what he heard from Indigenous representatives during missions to Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Kenya:
“The unprincipled and devastating impact of extractive industries on the environment and the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Their dispossession from ancestral lands, and the militarization of their territories. I also heard about the impact of the climate crisis. About the scope of systemic discrimination and exclusion. And it’s clear that these violations must stop.”
The UN rights chief said that Indigenous Peoples make up just over 6 per cent of the world’s population but account for almost a fifth of the world’s poor, according to the International Labour Organization.
He insisted that the voices of Indigenous Peoples must be heard “in every relevant national, regional and global conversation” and stressed the need to protect Indigenous human rights defenders from violence and reprisals.
Dominika Tomaszewska-Mortimer, UN News.
- Honour Mandela’s legacy by fighting for equality and justice, says UN chief
- Russia: UN experts call for release of journalist Evan Gershkovich
- Devastating violations against Indigenous Peoples’ rights must stop: Türk