UN pays tens of millions to Assad regime under Syria aid programme

The UN has awarded contracts worth tens of millions of dollars to people closely associated with the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, as part of an aid programme that critics fear is increasingly at the whim of the government in Damascus. Businessmen whose companies are under US and EU sanctions have been paid substantial sums by …

Ban-Ki Moon calls Netanyahu’s ethnic cleansing remarks ‘unacceptable, ‘outrageous’

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has criticised Israel’s prime minister for saying Palestinians want the “ethnic cleansing” of Jews in the West Bank. Benjamin Netanyahu’s use of the term in a video attacking opponents of Jewish settlement construction on occupied territory was “outrageous”, he said. Mr Ban stressed that settlements were illegal under international law. …

1 in 3 UN employees have faced sexual harassment according to survey

The global organisation’s own #MeToo survey has found that one in three employees responding to it have said that they have suffered sexual harassment in the last two years. Sharing the survey results in a letter to UN employees on Monday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “The results confirm that these have a debilitating effect on …

UN report condemns its conduct in Myanmar as systemic failure

A damning report by the UN on its own conduct in Myanmar has condemned the organisation’s “obviously dysfunctional performance” over the past decade and concluded there was a systemic failure. The report, seen by the Guardian before publication, was commissioned by the secretary general, António Guterres, after accusations that the UN system ignored warning signs of escalating violence before an alleged …

Hunger on the rise worldwide as 821 million affected

More than 821 million people suffered from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition worldwide last year, the United Nations reported Monday — the third year in a row that the number has risen. After decades of decline, food insecurity began to increase in 2015 and reversing the trend is one of the 2030 targets of the …

New Mass Grave Found in Libya

“Nine bodies were discovered and exhumed on Sunday,” the statement said, “at a site suspected of containing mass graves, in the town of Tarhuna,” The statement added that authorities were still searching for other potential mass graves “left by the Al-Kani criminal gangs, a pro-Haftar militia.” After launching an offensive on GNA headquarters in April 2019, the …

UN’s Michelle Bachelet says Israel’s annexation plans ‘illegal’

Israel’s aim to annex parts of the occupied West Bank is clearly “illegal”, the United Nations’ human rights chief said on Monday, warning that the consequences could be “disastrous”. Just days before Israel intends to kick-start plans to annex its West Bank settlements and parts of the strategic Jordan Valley, Michelle Bachelet added her voice …

UN chief urges Israel to abandon annexation plans

“We are at a watershed moment”, António Guterres told a virtual meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday. “If implemented, annexation would constitute a most serious violation of international law, grievously harm the prospect of a two-State solution and undercut the possibilities of a renewal of negotiations. I call on the Israeli Government to abandon its annexation …

UN: Yemen will ‘fall off the cliff’ without financial support

The United Nations humanitarian chief has warned that Yemen will “fall off the cliff” without massive financial support. Mark Lowcock told a closed Security Council meeting on Wednesday that many more people will starve to death, succumb to COVID-19, die of cholera and watch their children die because they have not been immunised for killer diseases. He added that the coronavirus …

UNHCR urges Greece to investigate refugee pushbacks

The UN Refugee Agency on Friday urged Greece to investigate multiple reports of pushbacks by Greek authorities at the country’s sea and land borders, possibly returning migrants and asylum seekers to Turkey. UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch said at a twice-weekly UN press briefing that allegations of people being turned back had increased since March. He …

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