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united nations

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China facing UN action after damning human rights report

CHINA XINJIANG
  • China is reportedly facing action from some countries in the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) following a recent report that accused it of “serious human rights violations” against Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
  • Diplomats from three countries and a rights expert previously accused China of attempting to block the report’s publication.
  • The debate on holding China accountable for its alleged abuses reportedly intensified as the HRC opened a new term on Monday.

China is reportedly facing a collective response from member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) after the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) concluded that Beijing has committed “serious human rights violations” against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

The violations, which are seen as potential crimes against humanity, are detailed in a long-awaited report released on Aug. 31. Diplomats from three countries and a rights expert previously accused China of working to block its publication.

UN chief: World is one misstep away from ‘nuclear annihilation’

  • Former prime minister of Portugal and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, 50, warned that the world was one step away from “nuclear annihilation” in a speech on Monday.
  • The UN chief gave the opening speech at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) conference in New York, a meeting which was originally planned for 2020 but was pushed back due to COVID-19.
  • To a crowd composed of ministers, officials and diplomats from around the globe, Guterres emphasized that we are living in a time of “nuclear dangers, not seen since the height of the Cold War” and urged leaders to take action.
  • To date, the U.S.’ atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, which resulted in catastrophic suffering, remain the only incidents of nuclear weapons being used in armed conflict.
  • The Secretary-General concluded his opening by reiterating that we have been “extraordinarily lucky so far,” but “luck is not a strategy.”

Former Portugal Prime Minister and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned that the world is one step away from “nuclear annihilation” in a speech on Monday. 

The UN chief, 50, gave the opening speech at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) conference in New York, a meeting which was originally planned for 2020 but was pushed back due to COVID-19. 

China trying to block United Nations report on Xinjiang human rights, sources claim

  • China is trying to block a United Nations Human Rights Commission report that details the conditions of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, according to three diplomats and a rights expert who spoke to Reuters.
  • Beijing’s plea allegedly came in the form of a letter directly sent to Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet, who vowed to publish the document before she leaves office on Aug. 31.
  • The report has been in the works for months but was delayed for unknown reasons, with Bachelet’s office stating on Wednesday that it is still “being finalized.”
  • The U.S., which accused China of genocide and other crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, urged Bachelet’s office to publish the document without delay, adding that it is “highly concerned about any effort by Beijing to suppress the report's release.”

China is reportedly attempting to block the publication of a United Nations Commission on Human Rights report that details the conditions of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

The news comes from a letter making rounds among diplomats from three countries who received it, according to Reuters. A rights expert was also reported to have knowledge on the document.

UN deletes satirical article on ‘benefits’ of world hunger: ‘No one works harder than hungry people’

UN
  • An article published on the United Nations Chronicle website that promoted world hunger as a “great positive value” and asserted “No one works harder than hungry people” was taken down.
  • Titled “The Benefits of World Hunger,” the post sparked outrage among Twitter users on Wednesday. Following criticism of the article, the link now leads to an error page.
  • Originally written by professor of political science George Kent and published in the UN Chronicle in 2008, the article argued that hunger is not an issue to be solved, rather “it is fundamental to the working of the world’s economy.”
  • A majority of Kent’s work revolves around ending world hunger, having published books such as “The Political Economy of Hunger: The Silent Holocaust,” “Freedom from Want: The Human Right to Adequate Food” and “Ending World Hunger.”
  • In a response to a tweet criticizing the publication for its inclusion of the article on its website, UN Chronicle confirmed that the 14-year-old article was “an attempt at satire.”

An article published on the United Nations Chronicle website that promoted world hunger as a “great positive value” was taken down.

Titled “The Benefits of World Hunger,” the post sparked outrage among Twitter users on Wednesday. Following criticism of the article, the link now leads to an error page.

World’s first self-sustainable floating city being developed in Busan

oceanixbusan
  • The United Nations’ human settlement program unveiled a prototype for a floating, sustainable city to be built in Busan.
  • The project is being developed by the firm Oceanix in cooperation with the South Korean port of Busan.
  • The city, which has a total of 15.5 acres in surface area, will feature three islands designed for a specific use such as living space, research facilities or lodging.
  • In addition to apartment buildings, markets, offices and parks, the city will feature modern amenities such as hydroponic farms, green energy grids and closed looped systems, which will allow it to generate 100% of its food, energy and water supply.
  • UN-Habitat explained that the project is an alternative response to rising sea levels that may affect 90% of the world’s coastal cities.

The world’s first sustainable floating city is set to be built in Busan, the United Nations’ human settlement program announced on Tuesday. 

UN-Habitat unveiled a prototype design for the ambitious project at the U.N. headquarters in New York City. 

Asian countries lag behind European ones in UN’s global ranking for happiness

unhappiness
  • The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network released its 2022 World Happiness Report, showing Asian countries lagging behind their European counterparts.
  • In the index of 146 nations, the “happiest” Asian country is Israel at 9th place, and the least happy was considered to be Afghanistan in the 146th spot.
  • The report also ranks Taiwan as the happiest country (26th in the world) in East Asia, Singapore (27th) in Southeast Asia and Nepal (84th) in South Asia.
  • Finland remains at the top overall spot for happiest country in the world for the fifth straight year, while the United States ranks 16th, and the United Kingdom ranks 17th.

Based on the UN’s latest World Happiness Report, Asian countries ranked well behind their European counterparts.

On March 18, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network released its 2022 World Happiness Report, with only one Asian country making it into the top 20 happiest countries in the world.

‘I will fight until the very end’: South Korean WWII sex slavery survivor, 93, demands UN seek justice

lee yong soo
  • A South Korean woman who was subjected to sexual slavery during World War II is demanding that the United Nations seek justice by asking Japan for a formal apology and acknowledgement of full responsibility.
  • As the number of living survivors declines, 93-year-old Lee Yong-soo believes this may be her last hope at getting closure.
  • Lee and other international sexual slavery survivors subitted a petition last week to take the issue to the UN’s International Court of Justice.
  • Lee first told her story to the world in 1992 and has been fighting for justice ever since, expressing that she will continue to advocate for herself and other victims “until the very end.”
  • At the age of 16, Lee was taken from her home and forced into serving as a sex slave for the Japanese Imperial Army while enduring harrowing abuse at a Japanese military brothel in Taiwan.
  • Of 239 women who registered with the Seoul government as victims of wartime slavery, only 12 remain alive today.

Lee Yong-soo, a woman who was subjected to sexual slavery during World War II under the Imperial Japanese Army, is demanding that the United Nations (UN) seek justice by asking Japan to formally apologize and take full responsibility.

After being inspired by Korean human rights activist Kim Hak-sun, Lee told her story to the world in 1992. She described having been dragged away from home at 16 and forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army. Lee faced harrowing torture and abuse at a Japanese military brothel in Taiwan until the end of the war.

Over 100 diplomats walk out to support Ukraine as China stays during Russian foreign minister’s UN speech

diplomats walk out on lavrov
  • More than 100 diplomats from the European Union, the United States, Britain and allied nations, such as Japan, walked out of the United Nations human rights forum as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s pre-recorded video was played on Tuesday.
  • Diplomats from countries including Yemen, Tunisia, Venezuela, Syria and China as well as Lavrov's former deputy and Russia's ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, remained inside the meeting hall to listen to the Russian foreign minister’s speech.
  • Lavrov’s trip was reportedly canceled, which he attributed to the European Union blocking his flight.
  • The diplomats formed a circle outside the meeting hall while holding Ukraine’s flag as a show of support.

Envoys from Western countries and Japan staged a mass walk-out in support of Ukraine during Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s speech at the United Nations Human Rights forum.

More than 100 diplomats from the European Union, the United States, Britain and allied nations, such as Japan, participated in the mass walkout on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Among those who remained were Lavrov’s former deputy and Russia’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, as well as diplomats from Yemen, Tunisia, Venezuela, Syria and China.

Ex-UN attorney says the organization ignores China’s alleged human rights abuses due to financial power

SEC-GEN_ANTONIO_GUTERRES
  • Emma Reilly, a former employee with the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), claims she was asked to send a list of Chinese dissidents to Beijing in 2013.
  • A shocked Reilly said she attempted to report the matter to superiors, only to find out that it was just “how the U.N. works.”
  • Following attempts to expose the incident, Reilly said she suffered “extreme retaliation” within the organization until she was fired in November 2021.
  • In a new interview, Reilly said she believes the U.N. is deliberately neglecting to address China’s alleged human rights abuses due to the country’s growing diplomatic and financial influence.

A former employee of the United Nations has accused the intergovernmental organization of deliberately neglecting to address China’s alleged human rights abuses due to the country’s growing diplomatic and financial influence in the global arena.

Emma Reilly, a human rights attorney who worked at the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), was fired last November after allegedly facing years of retaliation within the organization, reported The Epoch Times.

BTS ARMY hail group’s performance of ‘Permission to Dance’ at UNGA as one of their proudest moments

ARMY proud of BTS

K-pop mega group BTS received an outpouring of support from their fans, known as ARMY, following the release of their “Permission to Dance” video shot at the 76th United Nations General Assembly meeting on Monday.

Their proudest moment: The music video, released on the United Nations’ YouTube channel, saw the septet — consisting of members Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — sing and dance in the U.N.’s assembly hall and gardens, KIRO7 reported.

K-pop group BLACKPINK are the first Asian artists ever to be named SDG advocates by UN

UN appoints BLACKPINK

South Korean girl group BLACKPINK was recently appointed by the United Nations (UN) as an advocate for its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to “encourage young people to take #ClimateAction to protect the planet.”

SDG advocates in your area: The UN welcomed the popular K-pop group — composed of Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé and Lisa — with a tweet on Saturday announcing the group members’ official appointment as SDG advocates by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.