Monday’s Daily Brief: Colombia marches, major mine action summit, violence against women a barrier to peace, South Sudan update

25 November 2019

A recap of Monday’s stories in brief: Guterres holds “focused and frank” informal talks over Cyprus, responds to Colombia protests; Violence targeting women impedes peace; UN Mission, community condemn South Sudan violence; UN weather watchdog sounds climate alarm; Norway hosts anti-landmine summit. 

UN chief praises peaceful Colombia protests, condemns violence  

Secretary-General António Guterres is following developments in Colombia closely, and has acknowledged the “largely peaceful spirit” that characterized last week’s protest marches, as well as the Government’s effort to proceed with a national dialogue, his spokesperson has said.   

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched in Bogota and other cities in a nationwide general strike critical of President Ivan Duque, voicing complaints over proposed labour reform, and reported killings of indigenous leaders, as well as allegations of corruption which has marred the South American nation for generations.   

The UN chief welcomed the peaceful nature of the 21 November strike, but also expressed concern for incidents of violence and vandalism, including an attack late on Sunday that left three police officers dead, and injured others.   

Climate change: Another year of record gas emissions, warns UN meteorological agency 

Levels of the three main heat-trapping gases emitted into the atmosphere – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide – have reached yet another high, the UN meteorological agency, WMO, said on Monday. 

In an appeal to Governments to do more to reverse countries’ reliance on producing energy from fossil fuels, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, warned that “the future welfare of mankind” was at stake. 

According to the World Meteorological Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, since 1990, so-called “long-lived” greenhouse gases have caused a 43 per cent increase in total radiative forcing - the warming effect on the climate. 

Our full story, here. 

Violence against women a barrier to peaceful future for all 

Senior officials from across the United Nations on Monday stood in solidarity with survivors of violence against women and activists working to end the all-too common human rights violation. 

"As we go about our business, one woman in three that we encounter has been or will be subjected to violence,” said Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, UN Chef de Cabinet, speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General. 

“In some regions, and for some groups of women, the rate is even far higher—and this is only the violence that is reported, so the real level is indeed far higher.” 

More in our full story. 

UN Mission, community leaders, condemn South Sudan violence which left two dead at camp 

Community leaders issued an apology on Monday after rioting on 21 November by “drunken youth” within a UN Protection of Civilians site run by UNMISS in South Sudan, left two dead and eight UN personnel injured, including five police officers. 

Last Thursday’s clashes erupted between intoxicated youth in the northern town of Bentiu, and when UN police from the Mission attempted to intercede and restore order, the rioters turned on the officers, pelting them with stones and sticks. 

Here’s our coverage. 

Mine action champion, Norway hosts anti-landmine summit  

To Oslo Norway now, where over 700 mine action experts and survivors from around the world have gathered to reduce the growing number of civilians maimed or killed by landmines, with the goal of seeing a mine-free world.  

The Scandinavian country is hosting what is the world’s largest gathering of its kind, during which delegates will assess the Mine Ban Convention, a 20-year-old pact which includes 164 countries.   

So far, 52 million anti-personnel mines have been destroyed under the convention, allowing millions of square metres of once contaminated land, to be used again.   

Though the capital city Oslo is 2,000 kilometres away from the nearest minefield, Norway is championing the ban on the “indiscriminate weapons”, the Norwegian Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Hans Battskar said, having hosted the Convention’s adoption in 1977.

Listen to or download our audio News in Brief for 25 November on SoundCloud:    

 

 

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