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News in Brief 13 September 2022 |


This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.

Climate impacts ‘heading into uncharted territory’, warns UN chief

The harmful impacts of climate change are taking us into ‘uncharted territories of destruction’, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday.

In a fresh appeal to all nations to reject fossil fuels and respect the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level, Mr. Guterres said that the latest science showed “we are still way off track”.

He was referring to the United In Science report, coordinated by the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO), whose main findings are that greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise to record highs, that fossil fuel emission rates are now above pre-pandemic levels, and that the period 2018-2022, is going to be the warmest on record.

The number of weather, climate and water-related disasters has increased fivefold in the past 50 years, the UN chief said, adding that it remained shameful that resilience-building to climate shocks was still so neglected.

“It is a scandal that developed countries have failed to take adaptation seriously, and shrugged off their commitments to help the developing world.…Adaptation finance needs are set to grow to at least $300 billion dollars a year by 2030.

I have just returned from Pakistan, where I saw first-hand the massive scale of need there. At the very least, 50 per cent of all climate finance must go to adaptation”.

Catastrophic hunger levels leave 500,000 children at risk of dying in Somalia

Catastrophic hunger in Somalia has left more than 513,000 children at risk of dying, 173,000 more than during the 2011 famine, UN humanitarians warned on Tuesday.

Without urgent action, famine “will occur within the next few weeks”, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said, in a call for immediate funding to help vulnerable communities hit by successive droughts, high food prices and conflict.

James Elder from the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF, said that the number of severely acutely malnourished children had increased sharply from 386,000 in June, to more than half a million today:

“Children are already dying, our partners report that some stabilization centres are in fact full and critically-ill children are receiving treatment on the floor.”

Drought-related deaths have already been reported in Somalia, UN humanitarians say, and there is deep concern that the toll could be much higher in hard-to-reach rural areas.

The perilous situation for those forced from their homes by hunger in Baidoa town of Bay region, in Southern Somalia, is also particularly concerning.

Nicaragua’s human rights record continues to worsen, Human Rights Council hears

To Nicaragua, where human rights abuses have continued to worsen in recent months, linked to the country’s political crisis, the UN Human Rights Council has heard.

In an update to the forum in Geneva on Tuesday, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said that it was particularly worried about the continued arbitrary detention of at least 195 people.

Fifty of these detainees were arrested during last year’s elections and sentenced this year – some facing up to 13 years in jail.

At least 28 of those still being held by police have had to endure reportedly inhumane conditions and some have been refused access to their children, the Council was told, while the harassment of rights activists, journalists, the clergy and “actual or perceived political opponents”, has continued.

In one incident last month, the UN rights office described how “dozens” of police officers and anti-riot units raided a faith-based broadcaster and held the parish priest and six others captive for three days without electricity or food.

Ahead of local elections in November, OHCHR said that it had serious concerns about them, after five opposition party mayors were removed from office and replaced with government party members.

Daniel Johnson, UN News.


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