Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Syrian detainees, Zimbabwe hunger crisis, Kabul attack, Mexico disappearances, new tech to feed the world

© UNICEF/Antoine Raab At Kres primary school, in Cambodia, the multilingual education curriculum allows children to study in their indigenous language of Kreung, while they learn the national language of Khmer (November 2018).

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Wednesday’s top stories: Syrian detainees “failed by Security Council”; Zimbabwe experiencing “worst-ever hunger crisis”; Guterres welcomes new Mozambique peace accord; deadly Kabul attack; Mexico “responsible for enforced disappearances”; indigenous languages at risk; and how innovation should be used to feed the world.

UN Security Council ‘utterly failed’ Syrian detainees: a victim’s plea to ‘end impunity and stop this horror’

The Security Council has “utterly failed Syrian detainees and their families”, Amina Khoulani, co-founder of Families for Freedom, told the Security Council on Wednesday, during a meeting focused on those who have been jailed or gone missing across Syria, during years of brutal conflict.

In a rare opportunity for the Council to hear directly from family members of people forcibly disappeared, Ms. Khoulani spelled out: “It is your responsibility to protect Syrians from a system that kills, tortures and illegally detains its own citizens”.

Speaking on behalf of the women-led movement, launched in 2017 by families whose loved ones had been detained and disappeared, she painted a picture of sick, injured or dying people, many enduring daily barbaric torture, with some scheduled for execution, saying, “hardly any of them will have had a fair trial”.

Read our full coverage here.

UN boosts humanitarian appeal to help tackle Zimbabwe’s ‘worst-ever’ hunger crisis

With Zimbabwe now experiencing its “worst-ever hunger crisis”, the UN food relief agency has revised its humanitarian appeal to step up food assistance to people most affected by drought, flooding, and economic stagnation.

“Yesterday the humanitarian community launched an urgent appeal for funds to respond to the country’s very difficult humanitarian situation”, World Food Programme (WFP) Spokesperson Herve Verhoosel told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday. “WFP is set to increase aid, especially for drought-affected residents, but also to build community capacity to respond to climate shocks”.

Find our complete story here.

UN chief welcomes signing of historic peace and reconciliation accord in Mozambique

The Secretary-General has welcomed the signing of the Peace and Reconciliation Accord between the Government of Mozambique and the former rebel movement, RENAMO, on Tuesday.

In a statement issued by his Spokesperson, António Guterres applauded both President Filipe Nyusi and RENAMO President Ossufo Momade “for their pursuit of direct talks and for their commitment to finalizing the peace process.”

A civil war which erupted following Mozambique’s independence from Portugal, killed more than a million people between 1977 and 1992, but the ceasefire signed then did not prevent periodic violence, as RENAMO moved into the realm of civilian politics, becoming the main opposition party this year. The movement can now compete for regional governorships in elections scheduled for October.  “The Secretary-General calls on all national stakeholders to contribute to durable peace, reconciliation and stability in the country”, said the statement, released on Wednesday. “He reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to supporting the implementation of the peace agreements and bringing about a process of genuine and lasting reconciliation and sustainable development in Mozambique.”
Afghan Mission ‘outraged’ by deadly Taliban attack in Kabul, as hardline group threatens election violence

The UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has expressed outrage at a Taliban attack in Kabul, that killed “scores” of civilians on Wednesday. In a Tweet, the Mission said that such “indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks in heavily populated civilian areas must stop”.

According to media reports, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the deadly car bomb attack on a police station. At least 14 people are believed to have been killed in the explosion, and nearly 150 injured.

Earlier, on the same day, UNAMA released a statement expressing “deep concern” at threats made by the Taliban to target civilians participating in Afghanistan’s presidential elections, which are due to take place on 28 September. The elections were originally scheduled to take place in April, and postponed in July, only to be rescheduled for next month.

Read our full coverage here.

‘Enforced disappearances’, responsibility of Mexican state: UN independent experts

Mexico must begin “processing and punishing those responsible for enforced disappearances”, an independent UN expert declared on Wednesday, in response to a complaint made by a witness to an alleged incident in 2010.

The expert, Hélène Tigroudja, is a member of the Human Rights Committee, a group which monitors how countries, including Mexico, are sticking to international commitments on civil and political rights.

The complaint concerns a man who was taken from his car at gunpoint by police, in the city of Poza Rica in October 2010, and has not been seen since.

Four in 10 indigenous languages at risk of disappearing, warn UN human rights experts

Of 7,000 indigenous languages spoken today, four in 10 are in danger of disappearing, rights experts said on Wednesday, in a call for a decade of action to reverse the “historic destruction” of age-old dialects.

In an appeal to mark the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on Friday (9 August), UN-appointed experts said that “nation-building” had been largely responsible for “ongoing discrimination” against native speakers.

“Over time, such policies can undermine and effectively destroy a culture and even a people”, the experts cautioned, before insisting that indigenous languages allowed freedom of expression and conscience that are critical to people’s dignity, culture and political representation.

Read our story here.

Listen to or download our interview with Alexey Tsykarev, from the Centre for Support of Indigenous Peoples in Karelia:

Embrace new technology and innovation to feed the world, agency urges

The pioneering spirit of the so-called “Green Revolution”, that transformed agricultural production in the Asia-Pacific region, needs to be “retooled”, to embrace new technology and meet the increasingly complex nutritional needs of today’s world, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, declared on Wednesday.

The agency’s statement came during a special meeting held to commemorate 30 years of development progress made by the research foundation created by Mankombu Swaminathan, who is recognized as one of the pioneers of sustainable development.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Climate change brings a host of other risks for businesses

Britain heading to national schism on exit from EU

How has technology changed – and changed us – in the past 20 years?

The anti-vaccine movement shows the peril of a post-truth world

MEPs take stock of the EU’s foreign, security and defence policy priorities

A Sting Exclusive: “Leading by example! EU must push for UN deal to avoid dangerous climate change”, European Parliament Vice-President Ulrike Lunacek cries out from Brussels

How smartphones can close the global skills gap for billions

OECD Donor countries need to reform development finance to meet 2030 pledge

How can we regulate disruptive technologies?

An ageing workforce isn’t a burden. It’s an opportunity

EU climate law: MEPs want to increase emission reductions target to 60% by 2030

Draghi strives to control the unruly exploitation of financial markets by banking leviathans

Ten UN peacekeepers killed in a terrorist attack in northern Mali

Coronavirus: rescEU medical stockpile expands in four Member States

Technology is delivering better access to financial services. Here’s how

Coronavirus: truth and myth on personal risk perception

‘Never give up’: UN chief urges all who serve, marking UN Day

EU steps up aid for Lebanon – European Commissioner for Crisis Management in Beirut

Energy Union: EU’s effort towards a cleaner climate with integrated energy market

Health is nothing but the main consequence of climate change

Could electric vehicles pose a threat to our power systems?

8 fascinating and fearsome frontiers of science you should know about

The banks first to benefit from the new euro trillion ECB plans to print

EU rewards organisations that make eco-innovation pay

“If the job market doesn’t exist, then even the most brilliant Youth Guarantee cannot ensure a job to these young people”, European Youth Forum Secretary General Giuseppe Porcaro on another Sting Exclusive

Comprehensive listening: a tool to humanize Primary Healthcare and medical specialties

How teaching ‘future resilient’ skills can help workers adapt to automation

Traditional finance is failing millennials. Here’s how investing needs to change

Environmental Implementation Review: Commission helps Member States to better apply EU environment rules to protect citizens and enhance their quality of life

Don’t believe the hype: offices are here to stay

Most fish consumers support a ban on fishing endangered species, poll finds

State aid: Commission approves €6 billion Italian schemes to support SMEs affected by coronavirus outbreak

Even in the world’s richest countries, kids might not have what they need to learn at home

Draghi tells the EU Parliament his relaxed policies are here to stay

10th ASEM in Milan and the importance of being one: EU’s big challenge on the way to China

The UK’s River Thames has come back to life – with a seal population to prove it

How leaders can use ‘agile governance’ to drive tech and win trust

On Brexit: the outcome of UK elections next May to be based on false promises?

Brazilian officer a ‘stellar example’ of why more women are needed in UN peacekeeping

‘Grave consequences’ await if new deadly escalation of violence in Gaza continues – top UN official

It is impossible to end HIV without SRHR

Activist investors are more powerful than ever. Here’s what that means for the economy

ECB’s Draghi favours a cheaper euro to serve all Eurozone countries

MEPs and EU ministers agree on closing information gaps to enhance security

The Ecofin Council creates officially the clan of ‘undead’ banks

Strengthen inclusion, participation of people with autism to ‘achieve their full potential’ says UN chief

To save biodiversity, MEPs call for binding targets at global and EU level

3 things you need to know about securing a blockchain

JADE Spring Conference 2018 is on its way: Young entrepreneurs gather in Brussels to shape Europe

Will the end of QE come along with ECB’s inflation target?

Security Council urges ‘maximum restraint’ around Gulf region as Iran and United States trade diplomatic blows in New York

“At the Environment Assembly citizens expect clean, not hot air”, the Head of UN Environment in Europe underscores in a Sting Exclusive

Blockchain is facing a backlash. Can it survive?

Microsoft’s YouthSpark: a kiss of Life to European Youth from the European Parliament

5 ways to net a sustainable future for aquaculture

Financial services: Commission sets out its equivalence policy with non-EU countries

UN ‘determined to lead by example’ on disability rights: Guterres

Parliament backs measures to cut e-commerce VAT fraud

CO2 can be a valuable raw material, not just a climate killer. Here’s how

How the EU crisis hit countries saved the German and French mega-banks from bankruptcy and still pay the costs

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s