More than 1,000 United Nations employees have called for the global body to reduce its carbon footprint, including through curbs on their own diplomatic perks like business-class flights and travel handouts, a letter obtained by Reuters showed. The United Nations calls climate change the “defining issue of our time” and is hosting a New York summit on it next week.
UN investigators released a report on Tuesday claiming the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in Yemen is responsible for killing thousands of civilians, torturing detainees, using child soldiers, and raping civilians. The report increases international pressure on the coalition which receives support from the US, Britain, and France.
Kofi Annan Nobel Peace Prize winner and seventh secretary-general of the UN died on Saturday in Bern Switzerland at age 80. Annan was the first black African to head the UN. Annan used his post to focus on safeguarding international peace and security. Annan enhanced the UN’s role in fighting poverty, injustice, and disease.
United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said Sunday, that the US government negotiated a significant cut in the UN budget for 2018-2019. Haley cited the ‘inefficiency and overspending’ of the UN, saying, ‘we will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked.’
Ignoring threats made by President Trump to cut off their federal aid, countries of the United Nations voted against Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in an emergency UN General Assembly session Thursday. Of the present UN members, 128 voted in favor of a resolution, 9 voted against, and 35 abstained.
President Trump threatened to withhold aid from countries which vote in favor of the United Nations’ resolution rejecting Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. At a cabinet meeting, Wednesday, Trump said, ‘Let them vote against us,’ after American ambassador, Nikki Haley, warned UN members that the US will be ‘taking names’ in Thursday’s vote.
The US withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of its frequent criticisms of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the council ‘makes a mockery of human rights.’ This is the first time a member has voluntarily left the UN Human Rights Council.
On Monday, the United Nations Security Council demanded the Trump administration renege the decisions to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the United States Embassy there. Nikki Haley, the American ambassador, vetoed the request with no support from the council. Haley commented, saying Trump’s decision was a ‘US recognition of the obvious.’
The UN human rights investigators submitted a list on Monday against Burundi’s top leaders and state security agencies that they believe have committed crimes against humanity. The panel behind the investigation is currently preparing to present their findings to the UNHRC (Human Rights Council), which includes 47 members, including Burundi, which some are now asking whether should be allowed to remain on the council.
Yesterday, speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, spoke alarmingly about President Trump’s attack on media and press in the U.S. and also his comments about women, Muslims, and Mexican immigrants. Hussein hinted that Trump’s comments could amount to incitement to violence.