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UN Human Rights Chief: End Venezuela Sanctions

The United Nations human rights chief has called for sanctions on Venezuela to be lifted, stating that they “exacerbated the economic crisis and hindered human rights” and created “hurdles” for “the country’s recovery and development”. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk visited Venezuela in January. There, he met with government officials, right-wing opposition leaders, civil society groups, and religious institutions. “I heard from across the spectrum of people I spoke to, including humanitarian actors and UN agencies, about the impact of sectorial sanctions on the most vulnerable segments of the population and the hurdles sanctions create for the country’s recovery and development, not least in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic”, Türk said.

Africa Objects To US Chairing UN Climate Fund, Citing Unpaid $2 Billion

Developed countries nominated the US Treasury’s Victoria Gunderson to jointly lead the UN flagship climate fund’s deliberations in 2023. These appointments are typically approved without discussion. On behalf of African board members, Kenyan environment official Pacifica Ogola raised an official objection. The US has contributed just $1 billion to the fund in its 12-year history, compared to $9bn from EU countries and $3bn from Japan. A further $2bn pledged under former president Barack Obama was never delivered. His successors Donald Trump and Joe Biden have not paid in a cent. Ogola stressed, in a letter dated 16 January, rich countries’ responsibility to inject money into the GCF and called for better enforcement of commitments. Approving Gunderson’s role must not “normalise the situation” of non-payers holding sway over decisions, she argued.

What Will Happen After The ICJ Delegitimizes Israel’s Occupation?

A historic United Nations vote on December 31 called on the ICJ to look at the Israeli Occupation in terms of legal consequences, the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the responsibility of all UN Member States in bringing the protracted Israeli Occupation to an end. A special emphasis will be placed on the “demographic composition, character and status” of Occupied Jerusalem. The last time the ICJ was asked to offer a legal opinion on the matter was in 2004. However, back then, the opinion was largely centered around the “legal consequences arising from the construction of the (Israeli Apartheid) wall.” While it is true that the ICJ concluded that the totality of the Israeli actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are unlawful under international law – the Fourth Geneva Convention, the relevant provision of the earlier Hague Regulations and, of course, the numerous UN General Assembly and Security Council Resolutions  – this time around the ICJ is offering its view on Israel’s attempt at making what is meant to be a temporary military Occupation, a permanent one.

Reactions To The UN Security Council’s December 21 Meeting On Haiti

The 15 members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), joined by Haiti, Canada, and the Dominican Republic, on the afternoon of Dec. 21, 2022. Discussion centered on whether the Council would approve another nation or group of nations to militarily intervene in Haiti, ostensibly to assist the Haitian National Police (PNH) in their fight against armed “gangs.” The need for sanctions and how to apply them was also debated. The meeting was “far from orthodox,” in the words of one diplomat, primarily due to the frank remarks from one of the three briefers, Haïti Liberté journalist Kim Ives (whose full address is published separately) and the immediate follow-up statement by the Russian ambassador, who slammed the hypocritical conduct of Haiti’s three neo-colonial overlords—the US, Canada, and France.

Civil Society Organizations Condemn Israel’s Targeted Smear Campaign

On 14 December 2022, Israel’s mission to the United Nations in Geneva smeared the respected and eminent UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territory Occupied since 1967, Francesca Albanese, in a direct attempt to attack and undermine the mandate she has been entrusted with and thwart her expert human rights work on Palestine. The statement which contains baseless accusations of antisemitism, raises concerns about the “impunity that exists today regarding antisemitism and antisemitic comments made by UN officials”. More specifically, it refers to a historic Facebook post made by UNSR Francesca Albanese almost a decade ago, in 2014, which at the time reflected on the reasons for international inaction on the question of Palestine.

UN Experts: US Sanctions Violate Iranians’ Human Rights

Top United Nations experts have criticized US government sanctions for violating the human rights of Iranians. They made it clear that the unilateral coercive measures that the United States has imposed on Iran violate international law. A group of UN special rapporteurs stressed that these sanctions have a “negative impact” on “the enjoyment of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment in the Islamic Republic of Iran and on the right to health and the right to life.” Violating Iranians’ right to life is a roundabout diplomatic way of saying that US sanctions are killing them. The UN experts sent a formal letter to the United States condemning its sanctions and requesting that it investigate and remove them.

West Opposes Rest Of World In UN Votes For Fairer Economic System, Equality

Most countries on Earth voted at the United Nations General Assembly to support a call for a new international economic order that is based on sovereign equality and cooperation, that rejects unilateral sanctions and advocates for debt relief for the Global South. The only countries that opposed this widely popular proposal were the West and its allies. The United States and its proxies were also the lone votes against common-sensical resolutions promoting sustainable development, biological diversity, and basic civil rights for Palestinians. Almost the entire world supported these proposals. Washington showed itself to be a rogue state on the international stage, voting against practically every resolution, even on uncontroversial issues where the rest of the planet is in agreement.

False Solutions And Private Interests Take Over Global Biodiversity Summit

The 15th session of the Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) concluded in the early hours on Monday, December 19th with the adoption of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), known as the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework. The UNCBD is a multilateral treaty with three core goals, “the conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.” Additionally, the post-2020 GBF defines targets for biodiversity conservation for the next decade, and with nearly 200 Parties and an estimated 15,000 attendees present for the biodiversity summit, there were various obstacles and points of tension that Parties did not agree on.

AfroResistance At The Permanent Forum Of People Of African Descent

From December 5- 8, 2022, AfroResistance attended the first session of the Permanent Forum for People of African Descent, which was held at the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The Permanent Forum serves as "a consultative mechanism for people of African descent and other relevant stakeholders as a platform to improve the security, quality of life and livelihoods of people of African descent, as well as an advisory body to the Human Rights Council, in line with the program of activities for the implementation of the International Decade for Afro-descendants and in close coordination with the existing mechanisms." (United Nations) The forum was attended by Afro-descendant human rights activists, member states, United Nations bodies and agencies, intergovernmental and regional organizations, civil society representatives, and other sectors.

A Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Global Plastics Treaty

Could countries come together to find a solution to the plastic pollution crisis? International collaboration on environmental issues has a mixed track record. The Montreal Protocol successfully reduced the refrigerants and other chemicals burning a hole in the ozone layer, but the efforts of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are still not on track to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions enough to stave off the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Now, nations are trying again with an international treaty on plastic pollution. The first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to draft what the UN is calling “an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment” took place in Punta del Este, Uruguay, last week, from November 28 to December 2.

UN Resolution 181: 75 Years Of Myth Making And False Israeli Legitimacy

Seventy-Five years after the United Nations’ fatal decision to partition Palestine, the carnage and oppression of Palestinians by those who would claim they represent the Jewish people continues – and it promises to get much worse. Some claim that Zionism came to save the Jewish people from another Holocaust, that they speak for defenseless Jews so that they will never again have to endure a genocide the likes of the Nazi genocide of the Jews in Europe. But these assertions are merely excuses to allow the Zionist regime to exercise its cruelty and brutality without interruption. The United Nations Partition Resolution or Resolution 181 of November 1947 brought about the first attacks against Palestinians and opened the door to the brutality of forced exile.

UN To Observe Nakba Day In Series Of Approved Resolutions On Palestine

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a slate of resolutions on Palestine and the West Asia region during the 41st and 42nd meetings of its 77th session held this week. The assembly voted to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nakba by organizing a high-level event at the UNGA on May 15, 2023. To this end, “L.24” titled “Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat” was adopted with a recorded 90 votes in favor, 30 against, and 47 abstentions. The Nakba, or “The Catastrophe”, refers to the series of mass atrocities committed by Zionist forces that accompanied the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. At least 15,000 Palestinians were killed and over 750,000 were forcibly expelled from their homes, as over 500 villages were completely destroyed.

China To Run United Nations Biodiversity Conference

As the world parses what was achieved at the U.N. climate change conference in Egypt, negotiators are convening in Montreal to set goals for curbing Earth’s other crisis: loss of living species. Starting on Dec. 7, 196 nations that have ratified the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity will hold their 15th Conference of the Parties, or COP15. The convention, which was adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, is designed to promote sustainable development by protecting biodiversity — the variety of life on Earth, from genes up to entire ecosystems. Today, experts widely agree that biodiversity is at risk. Because of human activities – especially overhunting, overfishing and altering land — species are disappearing from the planet at 50-to-100 times the historic rate. The United Nations calls this decline a “nature crisis.”

Campaigners Warn Against Corporate Capture Of UN Plastic Treaty Talks

Representatives of almost 200 nations began a meeting in Uruguay on 28 November to address the scourge of plastic pollution. At the five day-long talks, delegates in the seaside city of Punta Del Este are charting a path to the first global plastics treaty. Plastics are implicated in the multiple environmental crises the world faces. They are proving deeply damaging to marine and terrestrial life, meaning they are contributing to both the biodiversity and ocean crises. Moreover, plastics are made from fossil fuels and generate greenhouse gases throughout their life cycles. So as Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the Nairobi-based United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said at the start of the Uruguay talks: A plastic crisis is also a climate crisis. Plastic has a heavy carbon footprint and a heavy chemical footprint.

73% Of The World’s Population Did Not Call For Russian Reparations

By this measure, only 27% of the world’s population supported the resolution; 73% did not. This is a resounding defeat for US/NATO “soft power.” It can only be explained by global antipathy toward the US/NATO side in this war and sympathy for Russia. Consider that the US has long used bribes and threats to engineer UNGA votes; it controls the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank; it imposes illegal unilateral coercive measures (“sanctions”) on a quarter of the world’s population; it is prolific and virtually alone in its constant coups and destabilization campaigns against uncooperative governments around the world. So it is not surprising that the US has mustered as many votes as it has for this and previous Ukraine/Russia resolutions. What is surprising is that it could not get more.
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