The United Nations human rights chief, Navi Pillay today warned that there must be no amnesty for gross rights violations in Yemen, stressing that the victims of the worst abuses during the country’s protracted crisis must have recourse to justice. Noting she has been closely following the debate about a possible amnesty in Yemen, Ms. Pillay said that both international law and UN policy are clear on the issue.
The Arab League says it has made mistakes with its heavily criticised observer mission in Syria and has appealed to the United Nations for help. Arab government sources said yesterday the mission, attacked by critics as ineffective and shackled by the Syrian authorities, would continue.
The Security Council will hold an open debate next week on strengthening strategic cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, with January’s President calling for closer ties to help deal with common issues such as conflict resolution. Ambassador Baso Sangqu of South Africa told reporters today at UN Headquarters in New York that his country’s President Jacob Zuma will chair the meeting on strengthening cooperation, which is slated for 12 January.
The United Nations nuclear watchdog today welcomed Japan’s announcement that it had successfully stabilized the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that was damaged earlier this year and that the release of radioactive materials is under control. Japan said today that the reactors have achieved a “cold shutdown condition,” according to a statement issued by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed yesterday the set of decisions reached by countries at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, saying they represent a significant agreement that will define how the international community will address climate change in the coming years. After extended negotiations over the weekend, the 194 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed on a package of decisions, known as the Durban Platform, which include the launch of a protocol or legal instrument that would apply to all members, a second commitment period for the existing Kyoto Protocol and the launch of the Green Climate Fund.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid an unannounced visit to Mogadishu today together with the President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, to express the solidarity of the United Nations at what he called a “critical juncture” for the future of the Somali people. On the political front, he emphasized the need to move ahead quickly with the roadmap that was agreed in September and which spells out priority measures to be implemented before the current transitional governing arrangements end next August,
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today discussed the situations in Somalia and Sudan with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, taking note of progress since the adoption by Somalia’s leadership of a political roadmap on the restoration of peace and stability in the Horn of Africa. Mr. Ban reaffirmed UN support for the implementation of the roadmap by the Transitional Federal Government with the support of the international community.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged countries not to lose momentum and show determined leadership to advance negotiations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, as States enter their first day of high-level talks. “We must be realistic about expectations for a breakthrough in Durban,” he added.
The United Nations Human Rights Council today strongly condemned the continued abuses by the Syrian authorities as part of its violent crackdown against protesters which has led to the deaths of more than 4,000 people since March, including over 300 children. The 47-member body also urged the Syrian Government to meet its responsibility to protect its people, in a resolution adopted during a special session in Geneva to discuss the report of the independent international commission of inquiry into the crackdown that was released this week.