The United Nations on Tuesday called for more global action to end nuclear testing, warning against the danger of “collective suicide”.
The United Nations on Tuesday called for more global action to end nuclear testing, warning against the danger of “collective suicide”.
Ukrainian children are showing signs of widespread learning loss as Russia’s invasion preceded by the COVID-19 pandemic have left them facing a fourth year of education setbacks, a senior UN children’s agency official said on Tuesday.
The United Nations on Tuesday announced that it has conducted 200 cross-border missions delivering aid into northwest Syria from Türkiye since the devastating earthquakes that struck the two countries in February.
A group of UN-appointed human rights experts expressed grave concern on Monday over Russia’s decision to dismiss all legal challenges to the country’s criminalisation of “public actions aimed at discrediting” the Russian Armed Forces.
While its peacekeeping operation in Mali, MINUSMA draws to a close by the end of this year, the UN remains committed to supporting the country’s stability and development, the head of the Mission said on Monday.
Truck drivers in southern Africa who have been recruited to traffic or smuggle people illegally are learning about the risks involved thanks to the UN drugs and crime agency, UNODC.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres is closely following developments in Zimbabwe’s elections, his spokesperson said on Sunday.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL KHALED KHIARI’S
REMARKS TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON
New York, 25 August 2023
At 3:50 AM local time on 24 August, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) conducted what it described as its “second launch of a military reconnaissance satellite” from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. The launch follows a previous attempt to launch a satellite on 31 May.
According to the DPRK, the launch failed “due to an error in the emergency blasting system during the third-stage flight”. Official media said that a third reconnaissance satellite launch would be conducted in October.
While the DPRK issued a pre-launch notification to the Japanese Coast Guard, it did not issue airspace or maritime safety notifications to the International Maritime Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, or the International Telecommunications Union. The DPRK’s unannounced launches represent a serious risk to international civil aviation and maritime traffic.
On 24 August, the Secretary-General strongly condemned this launch of yet another satellite using ballistic missile technology. Any launch by the DPRK using ballistic missile technology is contrary to the relevant Security Council resolutions. He reiterated his call on the DPRK to cease such acts and to swiftly resume dialogue without preconditions to achieve the goal of sustainable peace and the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
It should be recalled that developing a military reconnaissance satellite was part of the DPRK’s five-year military development plan, unveiled in January 2021. In line with the plan, the DPRK has significantly increased its missile launch activities in 2022 and 2023, including more than 90 launches using ballistic missile technology, in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.
As we have previously briefed, there is a need for practical measures to reduce tensions, reverse the dangerous dynamic, and create space to explore diplomatic avenues. I emphasise the importance of re-establishing communication channels, particularly between military entities. Exercising maximum restraint is critical to avoid unintended escalation.
Diplomacy and dialogue - not isolation - is the only way forward.
In this respect, the Secretary-General commends Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States for their continued willingness and offers to engage in dialogue with the DPRK on any issue without preconditions.
Pending the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, it is imperative that the DPRK maintains the highest level of safety at its nuclear facilities, in order to prevent nuclear accidents that would be disastrous for the region and the world.
The Security Council in its resolution 2397 (2017) reaffirmed its decisions that the DPRK shall suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme, abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner, and immediately cease all related activities. Since our last briefing on 13 July, the DPRK has openly displayed its nuclear-weapon delivery systems during both a weaponry exhibition and a military parade. Such displays undermine the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) that underpins it.
I would like to highlight once more our concerns regarding the humanitarian situation in the DPRK, compounded by climate hazards and ongoing border closures. The United Nations is ready to assist the DPRK in addressing the basic needs of its vulnerable populations.
We have been closely following reports of an easing of DPRK border restrictions. Given the progress in vaccines and treatments, and the declaration by the World Health Organization Director-General on 5 May that COVID-19 no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, we urge the DPRK to allow the unimpeded re-entry and rotation of the international community, including the United Nations Resident Coordinator and other international UN staff.
A collective return would positively impact international support to the people of DPRK and strengthen communication channels.
Let me close by stressing that unity of the Security Council is essential.
Thank you, Madam President.
The recent launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) of a satellite posed a major risk to international civil aviation and maritime traffic, a senior UN political affairs official said on Friday, underscoring the need for practical measures to reduce tensions in the Korean Peninsula and create space for dialogue.
Despite successful international counter-terrorism initiatives, the extremist group Da’esh and its affiliates continue to pose a serious threat in conflict zones and neighbouring countries, the UN Security Council heard on Friday.
UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said on Friday that the spread of fighting and hunger in Sudan could destroy the country, as the future of a “lost generation” of children lies in the balance.
Today marks a year and a half since the Russian Federation launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Eighteen months of death, destruction, and unimaginable suffering for the Ukrainian people.
The numbers alone tell a horrific story: OHCHR has confirmed at least 9,444 civilians, including 545 children, killed. Nearly 17,000 others, among them 1,156 children, have been injured. The real figures are likely much higher. Some estimates put the total number of killed, civilians and military personnel of both sides, at half a million.
And there is no end in sight to this war, launched in violation of the principles of the UN Charter and international law. Indeed, since Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Initiative on July 17, the fighting has only escalated.
We are witnessing growing tensions and threats to the freedom of navigation in the Black Sea.
Brutal and relentless Russian attacks have damaged grain export infrastructure in Ukraine’s Black Sea and Danube ports, imperilling the export of foodstuffs desperately needed around the world.
On 27 July, Russian missiles struck port infrastructure in Odesa region, reportedly killing a security guard and damaging a cargo terminal.
On 28 July, Russian forces reportedly shelled a grain terminal in Beryslav district in Kherson region.
On 2 August, a drone attack hit the Danube port of Izmail, damaging about 40,000 tonnes of grain destined for countries in Africa as well as China and Israel, according to Ukrainian officials.
On 14 August, Russian drone and missile attacks reportedly injured at least three people in the port city of Odesa. The nearby port city of Mykolaiv was also targeted.
On 16 August, Russian drones reportedly damaged grain silos and warehouses at the Danube River port of Reni.
And just yesterday, as a result of another Russian drone attack in Odesa region, 13 thousand tons of grain were destroyed.
These are only a few of the most recent incidents.
As we warned during the Security Council meetings on 21 and 26 July, attacks targeting grain facilities may have far-reaching global consequences. They threaten to reverse the progress made in bolstering food security over the past year.
This could be catastrophic for the 345 million people already acutely food insecure around the world.
The Secretary-General continues to stress the importance of food and fertilizer exports from Russia and Ukraine to global food security and to advocate for the resumption of the Black Sea Initiative.
On 19 August, a Russian missile attack on the drama theatre in the heart of the city of Chernihiv took the lives of seven people, including a six-year-old girl, and injured more than a hundred others, among them at least 15 children.
Many of the victims were passers-by enjoying a Saturday morning with their families, with some on their way to church to celebrate an Orthodox Christian holiday.
In recent weeks, dozens of civilians have also been killed in attacks on Kherson, Odesa, Donetsk, Lviv, Kharkiv, Sumy, Zaporizhzhia and other regions of Ukraine.
In some instances, sequential, or double-tap, strikes have killed and injured not only civilian residents, but first responders who rushed to help.
We are also deeply disturbed by the destruction of a hotel used by the UN and other humanitarian staff in Zaporizhzhia on 10 August.
These heinous attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure are in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. They are unacceptable and must be strongly condemned.
Attacks against Ukrainian culture and heritage have also escalated. Since the beginning of the war, UNESCO has verified damage to 284 cultural sites, including 120 religious sites.
Following the attacks on 23 July that severely damaged the Historic Centre of Odesa, an area protected under the World Heritage Convention, UNESCO deployed an expert mission to conduct a damage assessment and to prepare for measures to stabilize and protect cultural assets from further deterioration.
Another recent UN assessment on the impact of the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam concluded that the breach caused a far-reaching environmental disaster, the scale of which might not be clear for decades to come.
Hundreds of square kilometres were inundated, and thousands of square kilometres of reservoir and wetlands desiccated, severely impacting the livelihoods of already struggling Ukrainian farmers.
The impact of the war on women has been devastating.
They represent the overwhelming majority of the 6.2 million people forced to move to other countries because of the violence.
The United Nations is ensuring gender mainstreaming in its humanitarian response, including promoting women’s empowerment and leadership, and prioritizing protection from gender-based violence.
Despite staggering challenges, Ukrainian women have stood at the forefront of humanitarian responses. Women-led civil society organizations were among the first to respond to the full-scale invasion.
To support these efforts, UN Women has allocated, through its Peace and Humanitarian Fund, over $14.6 million to finance over 120 civil society organizations that support women and girls inside Ukraine and those displaced in Moldova.
To date, the United Nations has verified 173 cases of conflict-related sexual violence against 112 men, 57 women, and four girls.
The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine has said that such incidents of sexual violence may amount to war crimes.
The massive human rights violations have not spared children.
Their schools and hospitals are destroyed jeopardizing their right to education and health. To date, OHCHR has verified 824 and 403 attacks on educational and medical facilities, respectively.
We welcome the signing on 18 August of a plan by the UN and the Government of Ukraine to prevent grave violations against children.
However, we regret that the UN still does not have the necessary access to verify allegations of violations against [Ukrainian] children in the territory of Ukraine under Russian control or in the Russian Federation itself, including children allegedly transferred to the Russian Federation.
We are also concerned about the possible impact on civilians of the shelling of Russian border communities and drone attacks deep inside Russia, including Moscow.
Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure – wherever they may occur – are indefensible and strictly prohibited under international law.
Regarding humanitarian assistance, the UN and its partners continue to deliver aid to those in need.
Limited access to Russian controlled areas of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine hampers our aid operations. We continue to seek potential avenues to expand access to these areas.
The Ukraine Humanitarian Response Plan has now received over $1.7 billion – or 44 per cent – of the $3.9 billion required through the end of 2023. While we extend our gratitude to the generosity of donors, continued contributions are needed to ensure timely delivery of assistance, including through Ukraine’s harsh winter season.
Today’s grim milestone of 18 months of war coincides with the 32nd anniversary of Ukraine’s independence.
I would like to congratulate the Ukrainian people today and take this occasion to stress, once again, that the UN’s commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within it internationally recognized borders is unwavering.
Similarly, and recognizing the growing calls around the world for an end to the war, I reiterate the UN’s commitment to support all meaningful efforts to achieve a just and sustainable peace in Ukraine, in line with the UN Charter, international law and relevant General Assembly resolutions.
The top UN political affairs official on Thursday highlighted “unimaginable” human suffering due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as the war hit its somber 18-month mark.
The UN chief on Thursday underscored the urgent need for unity and justice to tackle humanity’s pressing challenges, which range from the climate crisis to economic disparities and conflicts with global implications.
The only path out of the war in Syria is a political process, which would also help to address the many crises affecting the country, UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen told the Security Council on Wednesday.
Russian strikes on at least 10 regions in Ukraine have left a path of death and destruction over the past 24 hours, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country said on Wednesday.
In Afghanistan, hundreds of former government officials and members of the armed forces have allegedly been killed despite assurances from the Taliban of an amnesty, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) said on Tuesday.
Recent deadly clashes between two largest armed groups in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, underscore the dire security situation there and are undermining preparations for elections slated for later this year, the top UN envoy for the country said on Tuesday.
Online hate is often a driver of violent physical attacks against religious minorities, said the UN chief on Tuesday, calling on governments, community and religious leaders, to “speak out against hate and incitement to violence.”
Paying respect to the thousands lost or harmed through terrorist attacks around the world each year, the UN is launching a project to help survivors’ testimonies be heard, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday’s International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism.
More than 200 Palestinians and nearly 30 Israelis have been killed so far this year in demonstrations, clashes, military operations, attacks and other incidents, which already surpasses last year’s death toll, UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland said in a briefing to the Security Council on Monday.
A senior political affairs officer at the United Nations has described how the sacrifice of colleagues who died in the attack on the UN offices at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003, has been acknowledged by the UN’s continued presence in the country.
With smartphones, editing apps, and innovative approaches, some UN peacekeeping operations across the world are building a “digital army” aimed at combating mis- and disinformation on social media networks and beyond.
The UN chief has condemned an assault on Friday by Turkish Cypriot security forces against ‘blue helmets’ serving with the peacekeeping force on the divided Mediterranean island.
New York, 19 August, 2023
This year’s World Humanitarian Day marks the 20th anniversary of the deadly attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad.
On that dark day, we lost 22 colleagues, including Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello.
That tragedy marked a change in the way humanitarians operate.
A former member of staff of the World Food Programme (WFP) has been talking about the “immense psychological injuries” he has suffered following the deadly terrorist attack on the UN offices at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003.
Conflict and insecurity in countries such as South Sudan and its neighbour to the north are set to make 2023 another year of high death tolls and and injuries for aid workers in the field, the UN warned on Thursday.