Month: August 2021 (Page 2 of 4)

President Joe Biden keeps deadline of 31 August pullout US military Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden told G7 leaders on Tuesday that the United States is on pace to complete the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan by Aug. 31 depending on cooperation from the Taliban.

We are currently on a pace to finish by August 31, I am determined to complete our mission,” Joe Biden said in a speech.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to negotiate with the Taliban:

The Taliban must guarantee a safe passage for those who want to leave Afghanistan beyond the 31 August deadline, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said in a speech.

The World Government Movement will keep you informed about the situation in Afghanistan.

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UN rights chief tells Member States: Afghanistan women’s rights are ‘red line’.

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet led calls on Tuesday for Afghanistan’s new Taliban leaders to respect the rights of all Afghans and warned that the treatment of women and girls is a “fundamental red line” that should not be crossed.

Speaking at the opening of an emergency session at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, a little over a week since the Taliban swept to power, Ms. Bachelet reminded UN Member States of credible reports of violations of international humanitarian law against civilians in areas under their control.

These reports, she said, make it especially important that the Human Rights Council work in unison to prevent further abuses, and that Member States establish a dedicated mechanism to monitor the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan and, in particular, the Taliban’s implementation of its promises. 

Ms. Bachelet added that “a fundamental red line will be the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls, and respect for their rights to liberty, freedom of movement, education, self-expression and employment, guided by international human rights norms.

In particular, ensuring access to quality secondary education for girls will be an essential indicator of commitment to human rights”, according UN News.

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Police arrests more than 50 people at Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

Environmental activists took to the streets of central London for Extinction Rebellion’s fifth mass protest, targeting the “root cause” of the climate and nature crises.

Protesters blocked roads in central London, including around Trafalgar Square, as they demanded the government immediately end investment in fossil fuels.

Activists also set up a large pink structure at the junction of Long Acre and Upper St Martin’s Lane with the words “come to the table” written across it to highlight the right everyone has to have a say in how to tackle the crisis.

The group has planned two weeks of action in the capital of England.

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UN official briefs Security Council: no end to Yemen civil war on the horizon.

No progress has been made by parties in Yemen to reach a political agreement to settle the civil war, which is now in its seventh year, a senior UN official for the Middle East region told the UN Security Council on Monday. 

It is imperative to resume an inclusive, Yemeni-led political process to reach a negotiated solution to the conflict,” said Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Khaled Khiari.

Khaled Khiari referred to a 2015 peace plan, which called for a nationwide ceasefire, the reopening of Sana’a airport, the easing of restrictions on fuel and goods flowing through Hudaydah port, and the resumption of face-to-face political negotiations

Mr. Khiari said that the Houthis continue to make the opening of Hudaydah ports and Sana’a airport, as well as on the ending of what they call the “aggression and occupation”, conditions of their renewed participation in the political process.  

Moreover, negotiations facilitated by Saudi Arabia on the Riyadh Agreement – which were focused on the return of the Prime Minister and other ministers to Aden – have yet to resume following the Eid break in July.  

Timely progress on the accord’s implementation remains vital to address the tensions in the south, he explained, according UN News.

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Hakainde Hichilema is elected President of Zambia.

Out of the 7 million registered voters in Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema secured 2,810,777 votes while incumbent Edgar Lungu was in second place with 1,814,201 votes.

In his opening address to the nation, Hichilema promised democratic reforms, investor-friendly economic policies, better debt management and “zero-tolerance” for corruption.

Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, saw its economy stagnate when copper prices collapsed around 2011.

Depressed commodity prices and the COVID-19 pandemic have further slowed any economic rebound.

“It is in no doubt what the instruction is to all of us,” he told supporters in Lusaka.

“We will not let you down,” he said.

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United Nations official: climate change and hunger in Madagascar.

In the south of Madagascar, known as the Grand Sud, hundreds of thousands of people are suffering from one of the worst droughts in the region in 40 years, the most senior UN official in the country has said, warning that the population is facing a severe humanitarian crisis.

The drought has gone on for longer than expected, and the funds received are insufficient to cover current and future needs.

We must act now: annual crops are a problem that will probably become a new crisis in the next agricultural season.

Resilience is the solution, and there is an urgent need to implement long-term solutions led by the government.

However, right now people need support and humanitarian assistance to get them on their feet and making a living.

The hunger season is coming.

We are in danger of seeing people who have endured the prolonged drought enter the lean season without the means to eat, without money to pay for health services, or to send their children to school, to get clean water, and even to get seeds to plant for the next agricultural season.

If we don’t act soon, we will face a much more severe humanitarian crisis”, according UN News.

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UN chief gravely concerned over ‘unspeakable violence’ in Tigray (Ethiopia).

Speaking outside the UN Security Council chamber on Thursday, UN chief António Guterres told journalists that he is gravely concerned about the situation in Ethiopia, particularly the “unspeakable violence” against women and others in Tigray.

The Secretary-General’s remarks came on World Humanitarian Day, and he recognized humanitarians “and the many millions of people they strive to help everyday”. 

He described the misery of the Ethiopian people, and the “hellish” humanitarian conditions they are facing, with millions in need and infrastructure destroyed.

The spread of the conflict, he added, has “ensnared even more people in its horror”.

Now is the time to put an end to the suffering”, stressed Mr. Guterres.

“It is time for all parties to recognize that there is no military solution, and it is vital to preserve the unity and stability of Ethiopia which is critical to the region and beyond”.

To “give peace a chance” in Ethiopia, the Secretary-General appealed for action on three fronts:

  • an immediate end to hostilities;
  • guaranteed, unrestricted humanitarian access, together with the re-establishment of public services in all affected areas;
  • and the creation of conditions that “allow for the start of an Ethiopian-led political dialogue to find a solution for the crisis”.

“Such a dialogue can contribute to addressing the underlying causes of the conflict and ensure Ethiopian voices direct the pathway to peace”, the UN chief explained, calling each of these steps “critical” to a peaceful settlement.

Mr. Guterres assured journalists that the UN continues to have a humanitarian presence in and near Tigray, although there is a lack of full humanitarian access.

The UN chief added that the UN would continue to work together with the African Union and other partners “to support the Ethiopian people on the way to peace and reconciliation”, according UN News.

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President Joe Biden says he stands behind Afghanistan decision.

President Joe Biden on Monday defended his decision to continue with the U.S. military withdrawal in Afghanistan, blaming the U.S.-backed Afghan government and military for allowing the Taliban to take over.

Joe Biden: “I am president of the United States of America, and the buck stops with me,” he said.

“I am deeply saddened by the facts we now face, but I do not regret my decision.”

Speaking to the American public from the White House, Joe Biden said he stood firmly by his decision and argued that he was faced with a choice to either follow through with the drawdown or escalate the conflict into its third decade and ultimately sacrifice more American lives.

“I stand squarely behind my decision.”

“After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

That’s why we’re still there,” Biden said.

The World Government Movement will keep you informed about the situation in Afghanistan.

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UN chief tells Security Council: ‘now is the time to stand as one’ on Afghanistan.

As desperate Afghans were trying to escape the Taliban and board planes, during chaotic scenes at Kabul airport on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for international unity on Afghanistan, in a briefing to an emergency session of the UN Security Council

Antonio Guterres appealed for the UN Security Council to stand as one, and ensure that human rights are upheld, humanitarian aid continues, and that the country does not again become a platform for terrorism.

“The following days will be pivotal”, said the UN chief. 

“The world is watching.

We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan”. 

The UN Secretary-General noted that the international community is following the developments in Afghanistan “with a heavy heart and deep disquiet about what lies ahead.” 

After seizing large swaths of territory in recent months, the Taliban on Sunday took control of the capital, Kabul, home to some six million people.   

President Ashraf Ghani has fled the country, according to media reports, and desperate residents have been scrambling to the airport to get flights out. 

“At this grave hour, I urge all parties, especially the Taliban, to exercise utmost restraint to protect lives and to ensure that humanitarian needs can be met,” said Mr. Guterres. 

Afghanistan’s UN ambassador, Ghulam M. Isaczai, spoke of the fear that has gripped Kabul; people displaced from other provinces had flocked to the capital, viewed as the last refuge in the country.   

“Kabul residents are reporting that Taliban have already started house to house searches in some neighborhoods in Kabul, registering names and looking for people in their target list”, said Mr. Isaczai.

There are already reports of target killings and looting in the city”. 

Invoke Chapter VII 

The experts further urged the Security Council “to take appropriate action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to safeguard the human rights and humanitarian needs of the people of Afghanistan, including its most vulnerable, and to address the role of Member States to prevent acts of terrorism under international law.” 

Chapter VII concerns Council response to threats to peace, breaches of peace, or acts of aggression, and allows for non-military and military action

They also recommended that countries should apply international sanctions against terrorist organizations, and ensure civilians have access to humanitarian aid as needs increase, according UN News.

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Malaysia’s prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin resigns.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet submitted their resignation to the king on Monday, according to a statement by the palace.

Under Malaysia’s constitution, the prime minister must resign if he loses majority support and the king can appoint a new leader who he believes has the confidence of parliament.

It is not clear yet who can form the next government, given there is no clear majority in parliament, or whether elections could be held during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The King: Abdullah of Pahang, can appoint an interim premier from among lawmakers, including Mr Muhyiddin himself, until a permanent successor is found.

Will be continued…

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