​​​​​This is the News in Brief from the United Nations. 

World at ‘tipping point’ for action on emissions and climate change 

Humankind has reached “a tipping point on the need for climate action”, UN Secretary General António Guterres said on Thursday, as new data showed that the world is not on track to slow down global warming. 

Disruption to our climate and our planet “is already worse than we thought, and it is moving faster than predicted”, Mr. Guterres said, at the launch of a report by UN and global scientific partner organisations, called United In Science. 

We now have five times the number of recorded weather disasters than in 1970 and they are seven times more costly, the UN chief added, in an appeal for urgent action to address human-induced climate change.  

In Geneva, head of the World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas underscored the dangers of record carbon dioxide emissions and rising seawater: 

“We are not yet on track towards the Paris 1.5 to 2C limit, although positive things have started to happen and the political interest to mitigate climate change is clearly growing but to be successful in this effort, we have to start acting now. We cannot wait for decades to act, we have to start acting already in this decade.” 

Professor Taalas said that despite temporary improvements in air quality during COVID lockdowns last year, greenhouse gas emissions have returned to 2019 levels.   

Torture, killings, lawlessness, still blight Burundi’s rights record 

The people of Burundi continue to endure serious rights violations including possible crimes against humanity, UN-appointed independent investigators said on Thursday. 

This is despite a pledge by President Evariste Ndayishimiye, to address the situation after years of violent repression and crimes, according to the UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi. 

It listed reports of arbitrary detention and execution, torture and intimidation, the majority committed by individuals and groups with links to the ruling party. 

The principal targets have been members of the opposition, the National Congress for Liberty (CNL), former members of the Tutsi-dominated Burundian Armed Forces, returnees, and some of their family members. 

Here’s Commissioner Françoise Hampson, speaking to journalists in Geneva: 

“In our previous reports, we found that there was an organized campaign for the purposes of international criminal law against those elements of the civilian population that were seen as or thought to be hostile to the government in power. Some of the violations that this year’s report detail, seem to be a continuation of that policy.” 

The Commission noted that although the level of political violence in the Great Lakes nation decreased immediately after the 2020 elections which followed the death of former President Pierre Nkurunziza – the human rights situation remains “dire”. 

Venezuela: judiciary’s independence ‘deeply eroded’, warns rights probe  

Venezuela’s “profound” human rights crisis has been made worse by political pressure brought to bear on the country’s judges and prosecutors. 

That’s the message of a Human Rights Council-mandated investigation, which on Thursday said that the lack of independence of the judiciary had allowed “serious human rights violations against male and female opponents of the government to go unchecked”. 

In its second report, the fact-finding Mission detailed how the justice system’s deficiencies happened alongside a State policy “to silence, discourage and quash government opposition” between 2014 and August 2021. 

The Mission documented irregularities at all stages of the criminal process, including pretrial detention lasting two years. 

Here’s Marta Valiñas, chairperson of the Mission: 

“In 102 of the 183 cases examined, the Mission recorded that high-level public officials made public statements commenting on criminal cases involving or real or perceived opponents, either prior to or soon after their detention.” 

According to the fact-finding probe, Venezuela’s intelligence forces subjected male and female detainees to enforced disappearance, torture and sexual violence, and arbitrary deprivation of life.  

The investigators said that they found no evidence of high-level officials being investigated or prosecuted in these cases, or in any other cases that it has investigated since.  

Daniel Johnson, UN News.    MW 

Source of original article: United Nations (news.un.org). Photo credit: UN. The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of Global Diaspora News (www.globaldiasporanews.com).

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