Articles for this Update were compiled by the City Bar's Committee on the United Nations.

ICTY Acquits Haradinaj, Balaj and Brahimaj on Retrial

The Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia acquitted three individuals of all charges. Ramush Haradinaj, a former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in Western Kosovo; Idriz Balaj, a former member of the KLA and commander of a special unit known as the Black Eagles; and Lahi Brahimaj, a member of the KLA were alleged to have acted as a Joint Criminal Enterprise, and, in the alternative, as individuals carrying out crimes against Kosovo Serbs, Kosovo Roma/Egyptian, Kosovo Albanian or other civilians. The Indictment enumerated several incidents of abduction of a total of 16 Kosovo civilians, who were allegedly detained and subjected to torture and cruel treatment at the KLA compound in Jabllanicë/Jablanica. It had been also alleged that eight of these individuals were killed while in KLA custody. As the defendants were all acquitted, the Trial Chamber ordered their immediate release.

Full story: http://www.icty.org/sid/11159

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Draws Attention to Syrian Crisis

The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, called on the international community to help Syria’s neighbors as they struggle to deal with a burgeoning refugee crisis. Speaking at a press conference in Lebanon, Ms. Amos noted that “neighboring States are being expected to absorb the bulk of the cost of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees,” and stressed that the need for support was especially pressing with cold weather on the horizon. Due to the uprising in Syrian, more than 440,000 refugees are in need of assistance, according to UN estimates.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43623&Cr=syria&Cr1=

Security Council Extends Sanctions on D.R. Congo Rebels, Condemns Attacks

The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution extending the arms embargo and other sanctions against the rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo until 1 February 2014. It also expressed its intention to consider additional sanctions targeting member of the M23 rebel group currently fighting in the eastern city of Goma. Sanctions have been in place since the close of the civil war in 2003, which is estimated to have resulted in the deaths of approximately 5 million people. The resolutions also strongly condemned attacks by the M23 rebels in Goma, which are believed to have resulted in the deaths of more than 140,000 civilians.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43619&Cr=democratic&Cr1=congo

Doha Conference on Climate Change Unveils New UN-led Partnership

The UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, which began Monday November 26, brings together the 195 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), the precursor to the Kyoto Protocol. The purpose of the conference is to build on existing agreements (such as the Protocol, which sets emissions reductions targets) to address the problem of climate change. The new initiative, entitled Momentum for Change: Innovative Financing for Climate-friendly Investment, pairs the UNFCC with the World Economic Forum, with the aim of spotlighting successful private-public financing mechanisms for investment in climate-friendly technologies.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43612&Cr=climate+change&Cr1=

New UN-backed Initiative Aims to Halve HIV-related TB Deaths

The UN launched an agreement between the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS and the Stop TB Partnership seeking to achieve the 2015 goal of reducing deaths from TB among HIV patients by 50 per cent, or the equivalent of 600,000 lives. Preventative treatments will focus on 10 countries representing three-quarters of all TB/HIV deaths: Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The UN World AIDS Day report was also recently issued by UNAIDS and can be accessed at the link below.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43607&Cr=AIDS&Cr1=

Read the report at: http://www.unaids.org/en/media/unaids/contentassets/documents/epidemiology/

UN Fund gives $5.3 million to assist displaced in Myanmar

The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund announced it would provide $5.3 million to assist 36,000 people who have been displaced by inter-communal violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. The money will go towards assisting UN agencies and their humanitarian partners in providing health, nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation, and food in the region. Violence in Rakhine first began in June, with clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. A recent upswing in violence has renewed concerns over displaced persons in the area.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43606&Cr=Myanmar&Cr1=

UN Committee Approves Text Calling for an End to Female Genital Mutilation

The General Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues, approved the first-ever draft resolution aimed at ending the harmful practice of female genital mutilation. The resolution urges States to take all measures – including legislative measures prohibiting female genital mutilation – to protect women and girls from FGM. The text also designates 6 February as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. The World Health Organization estimates that 140 million women and girls are living worldwide with the consequences of FGM, which involves cutting the female genitals for non-medical reasons.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43625&Cr=violence+against
+women&Cr1 =#.ULatYqxJOQI


Sudan must find solutions for IDPs, urges UN Expert

Chaloka Beyani, the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, urged the Sudanese Government to find durable solutions to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs), including safety, adequate food, shelter, health, education, and water. Mr. Beyani visited the country on a nine-day mission and is scheduled to present his report to the Human Rights Council in June 2013. According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 2.4 million IDPs in Sudan have been displaced by violence in the country, including the Darfur region, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43598&Cr=Sudan&


UN Report – Remittance Investment and Knowledge Sharing Lift Poorest Countries

The UN Conference on Trade and Development published its 2012 Least Developed Country Report entitled Harnessing Remittances and Diaspora Knowledge to Build Productive Capacities. The report notes that remittances - now worth 27 billion dollars worldwide - have exceeded the value of foreign direct investment to LDCs and have grown eight times between 1990 and 2011. It urges states to ensure better banking and financing services to facilitate greater domestic investment, small business development and job creation. Around 27.5 million citizens of LDCs live and work abroad, remitting money to their countries of origin.

Full story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43602&Cr=unctad&Cr1=

Read the report at: http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/ldc2012_en.pdf

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