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Equality and Human Rights

'All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.'

– Article One, The UN Declaration of Human Rights

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UN Security Council calls for an end to the siege of el-Fasher in Sudan's North Darfur province; Russia does not vote

UN Security Council calls for an end to the siege of el-Fasher in Sudan's North Darfur province; Russia does not vote

The UN Security Council, at the initiative of the United Kingdom, recently adopted a resolution on Thursday (13 June) calling for an immediate end to the siege of Al Fasher, the capital of Sudan's North Darfur state. The city, some 800 kilometres west of Khartoum, remains a key conflict zone as it is the last major western city not yet in the hands of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The RSF, a former elite unit made up of ethnic Arab militias and once part of the regime of dictator Omar Hassan al Bashir, is now led by General Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo. Daglo, a military leader and wealthy businessman from Darfur, plays a central role in the current power struggle in Sudan. The violence has killed at least 14,000 people and displaced more than 10 million others, according to UN estimates.
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New report reveals climate impact of Russia's war in Ukraine: $32 billion damage over two years

New report reveals climate impact of Russia's war in Ukraine: $32 billion damage over two years

Russia's ongoing full-scale war in Ukraine, initiated on 24 February 2022, has caused significant environmental and climate damage, severely impacting global efforts to combat climate change. This is highlighted in the latest report from the Initiative on Greenhouse Gas Accounting of War (IGGAW), which analyses the environmental costs over the past two years. The report was published Thursday (13 June) by the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine in collaboration with climate advocacy groups. The IGGAW report estimates climate-related damages at $32 billion, attributed to activities such as the extensive use of military fuels and the destruction of landscapes and infrastructure. Over 24 months, the conflict resulted in the emission of 175 million tonnes of carbon dioxide - more than the annual emissions of a developed country like the Netherlands.

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UN Security Council calls for an end to the siege of el-Fasher in Sudan's North Darfur province; Russia does not vote

UN Security Council calls for an end to the siege of el-Fasher in Sudan's North Darfur province; Russia does not vote

The UN Security Council, at the initiative of the United Kingdom, recently adopted a resolution on Thursday (13 June) calling for an immediate end to the siege of Al Fasher, the capital of Sudan's North Darfur state. The city, some 800 kilometres west of Khartoum, remains a key conflict zone as it is the last major western city not yet in the hands of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The RSF, a former elite unit made up of ethnic Arab militias and once part of the regime of dictator Omar Hassan al Bashir, is now led by General Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo. Daglo, a military leader and wealthy businessman from Darfur, plays a central role in the current power struggle in Sudan. The violence has killed at least 14,000 people and displaced more than 10 million others, according to UN estimates.
Editor's choice
News
New report reveals climate impact of Russia's war in Ukraine: $32 billion damage over two years

New report reveals climate impact of Russia's war in Ukraine: $32 billion damage over two years

Russia's ongoing full-scale war in Ukraine, initiated on 24 February 2022, has caused significant environmental and climate damage, severely impacting global efforts to combat climate change. This is highlighted in the latest report from the Initiative on Greenhouse Gas Accounting of War (IGGAW), which analyses the environmental costs over the past two years. The report was published Thursday (13 June) by the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine in collaboration with climate advocacy groups. The IGGAW report estimates climate-related damages at $32 billion, attributed to activities such as the extensive use of military fuels and the destruction of landscapes and infrastructure. Over 24 months, the conflict resulted in the emission of 175 million tonnes of carbon dioxide - more than the annual emissions of a developed country like the Netherlands.
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European countries accused of complicity after 11 bodies were recovered from the Mediterranean off Libya

European countries accused of complicity after 11 bodies were recovered from the Mediterranean off Libya

Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials MSF, has reported the recovery of 11 bodies and the rescue of dozens of people off the coast of Libya. The organisation criticised the migration policies of Libya and European countries. In a statement on Friday (7 June), MSF said its Geo Barents rescue ship had recovered the bodies after a search lasting more than nine hours. The operation was launched after an alert from the German NGO Sea-Watch, which also assists refugees and migrants. "Although the cause of this tragedy remains unknown, it is clear that people will continue to undertake dangerous journeys in their desperate search for safety. Europe must create safe and legal routes for them," MSF said in a post on X. "This catastrophe must end!" 
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UN agency UNRWA urgently suspends aid to Rafah

UN agency UNRWA urgently suspends aid to Rafah

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has suspended its operations in Rafah. Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the organisation that provides aid to Palestinian refugees, conveyed this information on Saturday evening (1 June) via X. 
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UNDP report highlights devastating effects of the Gaza conflict saying it has set human development in the territory back by about 20 years

UNDP report highlights devastating effects of the Gaza conflict saying it has set human development in the territory back by about 20 years

The war on Gaza has depleted much of the physical and human capital in the enclave and severely affected the rest of the occupied territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to a newly published UN report. It warns that in addition to the thousands of lives already lost, and the many people injured or maimed for life, the risk of “future lost generations is real.” The report by the UN Development Program, titled “War in Gaza: Expected Socioeconomic Impacts on the State of Palestine,” highlights the widespread damage caused by the conflict, including: the destruction of about 80,000 homes, resulting in significant, and possibly long-lasting, displacement and homelessness among the population; the depletion and pollution of natural resources; and the destruction of infrastructure such as water and sanitation systems, educational institutions and health care facilities. It said human development in Gaza has been set back to the extent it could take 20 years to return to prewar levels, and recovery seems unlikely in the absence of a functioning economy, adequate institutional capacities, and the ability to trade. “With 37 million tons of debris, compared to 2.4 million tons of debris in the 2014 war, and 72 percent of all housing in Gaza destroyed, and 90 percent of commercial and all other buildings destroyed, this is unprecedented.” The report analyzes the devastating effects the ongoing war in Gaza has had on the Palestinian people, their economy and human development in the territory, and predicts the possible consequences based on scenarios that assume a further one to three months of conflict. Based on official figures, by April 12 this year, at least 33,207 Palestinians had been killed in Gaza, an estimated 7,000 were missing, and 80,683 had been injured. About 70 percent of the dead were women and children. Many of the injured are likely to suffer long-term consequences, including disabilities. These figures reveal that at least 5 percent of the population of Gaza has been killed, maimed or injured. In addition, about 500 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the beginning of the war. “No other armed conflict in the 21st century has caused such a devastating impact on a population in such a short time frame,” the report notes. It states the number of people in Gaza living in poverty has risen to 1.67 million in the six months since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began in October last year.
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Opposition leader amongst those injured after police break up anti government protests in Georgia

Opposition leader amongst those injured after police break up anti government protests in Georgia

Riot police in Georgia have fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse crowds protesting against a bill seen by the opposition as targeting media freedoms and narrowing the space for the work of civil society. Demonstrators threw eggs and bottles at the police outside the parliament in the capital, Tbilisi. The crowds retreated, but clashes continued on the main Rustaveli Avenue late on Tuesday. A number of people were reportedly injured and detained. Georgia's IPN news agency says that Levan Khabeishvili, chairman of the main opposition party United National Movement, was severely beaten and taken to hospital. He was later shown in a hospital bed where he is said to have a broken nose. Reuters news agency says that eyewitnesses saw some police officers physically attack protesters. On 17 April, MPs gave their initial backing to the "foreign agent" bill. The bill is now going through its last stages in parliament. Under the bill proposed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and independent media that receive more than 20% of their funding from foreign donors would have to register as organisations "bearing the interests of a foreign power". They would also be monitored by Georgia's justice ministry and could be forced to share sensitive information - or face hefty fines of up to 25,000 Georgian lari ($9,400). The passing of the bill in its first reading triggered a series of street protests. Opponents of the bill demand that the government scrap it, arguing that it is inspired by authoritarian legislation that neighbouring Russia uses to crush dissent.