Here’s a roundup of human rights news this Friday: UN’s Bachelet urges restraint over arrests of Egypt protestors; expert calls for ‘democratic shift’ in Zimbabwe; Human Rights Council agrees fact-finding mission to Venezuela; independent experts urge freedom for Saudi women's rights defender, after 500 days in prison.
Small island nations are “not sitting idly by” but are emerging as “frontrunners” in the fight against climate change according to Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, the UN High Representative for Small Island Developing States.
Students and young activists on Saturday threw down the gauntlet to world leaders heading to United Nations Headquarters next week for high-level climate talks, demanding that they “stop wasting time” and work harder to curb carbon emissions, “or we will vote you out.”
It is “crucial” that the world’s 1.8 billion young people have a say in the fight against climate change and ultimately “the future of the planet” according to the UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake.
Staff at UN Headquarters in New York joined untold numbers of students, scientists, organized labour, and everyday people worldwide, who took to the streets on Friday, demanding action to address climate change.
Nature is “one of the most effective ways” of combatting climate change and should be part of every country’s climate strategy according to the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Inger Andersen.
Cities around the world are the “main cause of climate change” but can also offer a part of the solution to reducing the harmful greenhouses gases that are causing global temperatures to rise according to UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif.
A recap of Monday’s top stories: The ozone layer is on track to repair; Instability rises over oilfield attacks in Saudi Arabia; General Assembly chief Espinosa bows out; Disaster and conflict displace thousands in Asia Pacific; Sexual violence unpunished in South Sudan; Genocide threat remains for Rohingya.
At the current momentum, scientists predict the planet’s protective shield of gas - or ozone layer as we know it - will be completely healed as far as some regions of the planet are concerned, by the 2030’s, the UN’s environmental agency (UNEP) revealed on Monday.
The UN chief saw for himself the deadly power of Hurricane Dorian on the shattered islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama on Saturday, describing it as more like a “Category Hell” disaster, than the official Category 5 designation used by meteorologists.