Law and Crime Prevention

West Africa: Democracy ‘a constant process’ top UN official tells Security Council 

While elections are one-time events, “democracy is a constant process of deliberation and consultation” where dialogue provides an “important arena for the building of national consensus”, the top UN official in West Africa told the Security Council on Monday. 

UN independent expert asks outgoing US president: Pardon Wikileaks’ Assange

In an open letter to Donald Trump on Tuesday, an independent UN human rights expert asked the departing United States President to pardon Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. 

Independent UN expert calls for Julian Assange’s release, cites prison’s COVID outbreak

Amid a COVID-19 outbreak at London’s Belmarsh prison, an independent UN expert appealed to British authorities on Tuesday to release Julian Assange or to place him under guarded house arrest during extradition proceedings to the United States.  

UN commission reclassifies cannabis, yet still considered harmful

In reviewing a series of World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on cannabis and its derivatives, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) zeroed-in on the decision to remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs — where it was listed alongside specific deadly, addictive opioids, including heroin, recognized as having little to no therapeutic purposes.

DR Congo: War crimes conviction ‘an important victory’ for justice – UN envoy 

Two senior UN officials welcomed on Tuesday the war crimes conviction and life sentencing of an armed combatant in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). 

Landmine toll still high amid concerns over COVID-19 impact on clearance efforts

Thousands of people continue to be killed and injured every year by landmines and explosive weapons in conflicts around the world, while the COVID-19 pandemic has forced mine-clearance efforts to be scaled back, a  UN-backed civil society report on the issue said on Thursday.

Report reveals linkages between human trafficking and forced marriage

Across the world, girls as young as 12 are being forced or tricked into marrying men who exploit them for sex and domestic work, in what the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has called an “under-reported, global form of human trafficking”. 

Put peace in Libya first, UN chief urges summit on war-shattered nation 

A “rare opportunity” for peace in Libya should be seized by all those involved directly or indirectly in the conflict, António Guterres said on Monday, at a High-Level virtual meeting convened to end the fighting. 

Deterring ‘atrocious crimes’ contributes to development: International Criminal Court President

Deterring genocides, armed conflicts and other atrocious crimes supports sustainable development says the President of the UN-backed International Criminal Court (ICC) Chile Eboe-Osuji.

Illicit capital robbing Africa and its people of their future: UN trade and development chief

Every year, an estimated $88.6 billion, which is equivalent to 3.7% of Africa’s GDP, leaves the continent in the form of illicit capital, according to UN trade and development agency UNCTAD’s Economic Development in Africa Report 2020, launched on Monday.