Ban Ki-moon, was elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations in October 2006. In this video he speaks about growing up in Korea when the UN helped his family escape the horrors of war, his role as Secretary-General, and his hope for the future.
TORONTO (IDN) - In run-up to World Press Freedom Day on May 3, a new report has come up with a shocking revelation that global press freedom declined to its lowest point in 12 years in 2015, “as political, criminal, and terrorist forces sought to co-opt or silence the media in their broader struggle for power”.
An important exception to this trend, according to Freedom of the Press 2016, Freedom House’s annual report on media freedom worldwide, was Sri Lanka, which experienced a marked improvement in press freedom conditions after a new government took power in early 2015.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.
The report reveals another encouraging trend: Despite the many threats to press freedom, journalists and bloggers worldwide have shown resilience, often at great risk to their lives.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN) - “Refugees have a right to asylum – not bias and barbed wire,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared at the annual spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group here.
Taking up cudgels on their behalf, Ban emphasized that refugees bring new skills and dynamism into aging workforces, and are “famously devoted” to education and self-reliance. “When managed properly, accepting refugees is a win for everyone,” he said. “Demonizing them is not only morally wrong, it is factually wrong,” he added.
In an impassioned plea to resolve the biggest refugee and displacement crisis of our time, he reiterated a call to leaders across Europe and throughout the world to show greater solidarity as they strive to combat the deeper roots of conflict and continue to work towards securing human rights for all.
THE HAGUE (IDN) - Aided by a team of eminent international lawyers and backed by staunch proponents of ‘nuclear zero’, the tiny but resolute Pacific Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) wants the International Court of Justice (ICJ), principal judicial organ of the United Nations, to hold the nine nuclear weapons states – U.S., Russia, UK, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea – accountable to their disarmament commitments.
These are the first contentious cases about nuclear disarmament to be brought before the world’s highest court, said Rick Wayman, Director of Programs at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
The Marshall Islands filed lawsuits against all nine nuclear weapons countries in April 2014. But the U.S., Russia, China, France, Israel and North Korea do not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ and are ignoring the cases brought against them. Only India, Pakistan and UK accept. READ IN JAPANESE
NEW YORK (INPS | IDN) - The United Nations peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous has warned that, despite considerable progress, the peace process in Mali remains fragile, and stressed the need to urgently address political, security and humanitarian challenges.
Since the last consultations in October 2015, efforts by Malian authorities, parties signatory to the agreement, international mediators and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali MINUSMA had helped reinforce the dialogue between the Government and the movements, Ladsous, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told the Security Council on January 11.
BERLIN (INPS | IDN) – In an unprecedented bid, U.S. President Barack Obama plans to succeed Ban Ki-moon as the United Nations Secretary-General and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has got wind of the plan, is determined to lead the effort in thwarting the bid, reports the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida, cited by The Jerusalem Post.
While Ban’s second term as the UN Secretary-General ends on December 31, Obama’s finishes in January 2017. The U.S. Presidential election is due on November 8, 2016.
NEW YORK | ASTANA - As co-chair, along with Japan, of the Conference to facilitate entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), Kazakhstan has condemned North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test on January 6 and declared “such actions” of DPRK as “unacceptable” and “in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013) and 2094 (2013)”.
In a statement, the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Kazakhstan believes the actions of DPRK seriously undermine the international community’s efforts along the path of nuclear disarmament and strengthening the non-proliferation regime and global security in general, as well as the efforts of the majority of the countries in the world to ensure the early entry into force of the CTBT.“
Kazakhstan, as a country whose people have directly experienced the deadly effects of nuclear weapons, voluntarily renounced the possession of a nuclear arsenal and initiated the adoption of a UN General Assembly resolution proclaiming August 29 as the International Day against Nuclear Tests, the statement added.
“We stand for the complete ban on nuclear tests in the world,” declared the statement, and call upon North Korea to abandon nuclear weapon ambitions and resume negotiations in the six-party format involving China, Russia, the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan.
The United Nations condemned on January 6 the underground nuclear test announced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling it “deeply troubling” and the UN Security Council vowing to immediately begin considering the “significant measures” it had vowed to take in the event of another nuclear test by the country.
NEW YORK (INPS) - The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian territories is resigning due to Israel's failure to grant him access to the areas he is tasked with monitoring, according to the UN News Service.
“Unfortunately, my efforts to help improve the lives of Palestinian victims of violations under the Israeli occupation have been frustrated every step of the way,” Makarim Wibisono said of his resignation, which he submitted to the President of the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council on January 4, to become effective as of March 31.
NEW YORK (INPS)- The United Nations tribunal set up 21 years ago to judge those guilty for the genocide in Rwanda of more than 800,000 people – overwhelmingly Tutsi, and also moderate Hutu, Twa and others – formally closed on December 31 after delivering 45 judgments as part of the Organization’s efforts to stamp out impunity for crimes against humanity.
It became the first international tribunal to issue a judgement against a Head of Government since the Nuremburg and Tokyo Tribunals just after the Second World War, when it condemned former Interim Government Prime Minister Jean Kambanda to life imprisonment in 1998. Read in Japanese