An educator and rights defender who has spent more than 20 years rescuing exploited and trafficked children in Colombia, represents “the best of us”, the UN refugee chief said on Thursday, as she was named the winner of this year’s Nansen Refugee Award.
UN Verification Mission in Colombia/Marcos Guevara
The killing of former combatants, human rights defenders and social leaders of communities devastated by decades of conflict, remains the most serious threat to peace in Colombia since the signing of a landmark peace agreement in 2016, the top UN official in the country told the Security Council on Tuesday, meeting in-person at UN Headquarters in New York, for the first time in four months.
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.
A recap of Thursday's stories: Guterres calls for military de-escalation in Syria's north-east; the role of cities in the climate crisis; new UN data resource to support refugees; reintegration of Colombia's ex-rebels; global community raises billions to eliminate diseases.
The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has sent extra teams this week to the border between Peru and Ecuador to support the authorities, as an unprecedent number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants – over 15,000 – have entered Peru this week.
As the United Nations announced four million Venezuelans have fled their country, Angelina Jolie, a special envoy for the world body’s refugee agency, visited camps along the Colombian-Venezuelan border, where on Saturday she appealed for more leadership, more humanity and more support to countries bearing the brunt of the crisis.
Alarmed by the “strikingly high number” of human rights defenders being killed, harassed and threatened in Colombia, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) in the country on Friday, called on authorities to “make a significant effort” to “tackle the endemic impunity” surrounding these cases.
A United Nations human rights team is to begin an official visit to Venezuela on Monday at the invitation of the Government, potentially paving the way for an official mission to Caracas by the UN’s top rights official, Michelle Bachelet.