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News in Brief 11 September 2023

News in Brief 11 September 2023

This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

Human Rights: Türk blasts ‘politics of repression and division’

States must reject authoritarianism and do more to protect people’s fundamental rights, UN rights chief Volker Türk told the Human Rights Council on Monday.

Mr. Türk strongly condemned the “old, blunt, brutal politics of repression” as exemplified by an increase in military takeovers such as the ones in Niger and Gabon and the crushing of dissent.

Here he is addressing the opening of the Council’s 54th session:

“The unconstitutional changes in government that we have seen in the Sahel are not the solution. We need instead an urgent reversal to civilian governance, and open spaces where people can participate, influence, accompany and criticise government actions – or lack of action.” 

Mr. Türk stressed that the political, social, economic, environmental and human rights challenges faced by countries in the Sahel, which leave their populations “struggling for daily survival”, were interlinked. 

He called the world’s looming inability to end hunger and poverty by 2030 a “terrible collective human rights failure” and called on countries to step up the fight against inequalities through international financial system reform and climate adaptation funding. 

“Leaving no one behind” – the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals – was not an empty slogan but a true “human rights action plan”, the UN human rights chief said.

Morocco earthquake: UN reiterates offer of support

The UN has been in close communication with the Moroccan authorities to offer help following the deadly earthquake which hit the Kingdom’s High Atlas mountain range on Saturday, reportedly killing more than 2,100 people, the UN humanitarian affairs coordination office (OCHA) has said.

According to a statement issued by OCHA on Monday, the UN offered its support to the Moroccan government “in the assessment, coordination, and response to the situation”. 

Government authorities are leading response efforts assisted by the Moroccan Red Crescent, and OCHA said that King Mohammed VI has instructed his government to “expeditiously continue field relief efforts and provide care to the victims of the earthquake”.

The vast majority of those killed were in Al-Haouz, the epicentre, and Taroudant provinces. Another 2,421 people were reported injured. 

The UN Human Rights Council paid tribute to the victims of the disaster on Monday with a minute of silence. 

Sudan: $123 million needed to save rural livelihoods: FAO 

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched an emergency response plan on Monday to address growing food insecurity in war-torn Sudan.

The plan aims to provide over 10 million people with emergency seeds and livestock treatment kits, as well as veterinary support in the form of mass animal vaccination campaigns and fishing equipment.

This much-needed support will help address the “hunger gap” faced by farmers and herding communities during the dry season, spanning from November to May.

In order to implement the plan over the next 12 months and reach the targeted farmers, herders and fishers in 17 of Sudan’s most food-insecure states, FAO will require $123 million.

According to the UN agency, over 20.3 million people, or more than 42 per cent of Sudan’s population, are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity and nearly 6.3 million people face emergency levels of acute hunger.

Dominika Tomaszewska-Mortimer, UN News.

  • Türk blasts ‘politics of repression and division’, insists on link between freedom and development
  • Morocco earthquake: UN offers support
  • Sudan: $123 million needed to save rural livelihoods: FAO 
Audio Credit
Dominika Tomaszewska-Mortimer, UN News - Geneva
Photo Credit
UNESCO/Eric Falt