At least 150,000 people have been displaced from their homes due to heavy flooding in the eastern Jonglei state in South Sudan, local authorities said on Friday.
Gabriel Ajak, State Director for Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, said that thousands of people had been displaced in most parts of Jonglei region, which has also been experiencing inter-communal violence since July.
“It is terrible. People have been displaced in Bor town, Twic East, due to flooding.
“The population in the Jonglei region in the places of Bor, Twic East, Duk and Ayod is about 150,000 people,” Ajak said.
He said the water level had risen by 1.5 metres following heavy rainfall since July.
Inter-communal violence has affected 400,000 people in the region prior to flooding, Ajak said.
“We urge the national government and the aid agencies to help our people from this bad situation,” he said.
The UN agencies said in 2019 that an estimated 900,000 people were displaced due to flooding in Jonglei, Pibor and Eastern Equatoria regions.
The World Food Programme and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation recently warned that 60,000 people in South Sudan were staring at hunger due to inter-communal violence in Jonglei and Pibor regions.
The agencies said the violence in eastern South Sudan was making more people suffer from hunger.
South Sudan is currently implementing a fragile peace deal signed in 2018 to end more than six years of conflict.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)https://nnn.ng/floods-displace-150000-in-eastern-south-sudan/
UN urges Belarus to grant entry to UN rights expert
Belarus should grant free access to specialised UN experts to monitor human rights issues, including prisons, the UN Human Rights Council urges in a resolution.
In addition to demanding entry for UN Belarus monitor Anais Marin, the Human Rights Council also calls on Belarus to stop using violence, torture and arrests to quash civil rights.
The resolution, which was initiated by European countries says Belarus authorities should start a dialogue with the opposition and civil society.
The resolution was adopted with 23 yes votes, two no votes from Eritrea and Venezuela, and 22 abstentions.
Similarly, Belarusian opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, appealed to the UN on Friday for an international monitoring mission to be sent to Belarus to document an ongoing violent police crackdown on her supporters.
“The scope and the brutality of the extensive force used by the regime is in clear violation of all international norms and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN,” Tikhanovskaya said in an address to the UN Human Rights Council.
At least 7,000 protesters have been detained in Belarus since a disputed presidential election more than a month ago.
The UN has received 450 reports of torture and other abuse of detainees.
President Alexander Lukashenko, 66, has led Belarus, a former Soviet republic between Russia and EU member state Poland, for more than a quarter-century, tolerating little dissent.
Tikhanovskaya placed second in the Aug. 9 election, according to the disputed official tally.
She says she won and has demanded a new election. There have been protests in Belarus every day since the vote.
“We demand … an international monitoring mission to document the regime’s atrocities,” Tikhanovskaya, 38, told a special meeting of the UN council via video link.
She dismissed the Belarusian leadership’s allegations that, by seeking to intervene in Belarus’ post-election crisis, foreign powers have been meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
“It is very important to recognise that standing up for democratic principles and human rights is not interfering in internal affairs.
“It is a universal question of human dignity,” Tikhanovskaya said.
The UN Human Rights Council held the urgent debate in spite diplomats from Belarus and its close allies trying to prevent reports on violations from being presented at the meeting in Geneva.
“It is vital for the future of Belarus to break these cycles of increasing repression and violence,” Deputy UN Rights Chief Nada al-Nashif said.
“Civil society is a valuable partner, not a threat,” she added.
After al-Nashif’s speech, envoys from Belarus, Russia, Venezuela and China raised a long series of points of order to complain that the UN official had been allowed to speak, and to stop additional reports from a UN rights investigator and from Belarusian civil society representatives.
The Austrian diplomat, who presides over the Human Rights Council, Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, finally issued a ruling to stop these interventions.
Belarusian Ambassador Yury Ambrazevic rejected all accusations voiced in the council, which heard video messages from the foreign ministers of Denmark, Slovakia, Poland, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
“We believe it is not acceptable to use this body here to interfere in the election in any individual country,” Ambrazevic said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ifeyinwa Omowole
SDGs: Nigeria to mobilise NYSC members, ICONIC Leaders to champion implementation at grassroots — Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will engage the services of youth corps members and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Ambassadors across the country to champion the implementation of SDGs 2030 at the grassroots.
The President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja, said Buhari stated this on Friday at the virtual inaugural SDGs Moment, convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during the high-level week of the 75th UN General Assembly.
In his video message to the meeting, the Nigerian leader provided an update on SDGs progress in the country.
He outlined Nigeria’s vision for the next decade in fighting poverty, combating illicit financial flows and ensuring economic recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
”Our National Assembly has established Committees on Sustainable Development Goals.
”The National Youth Service Corps Scheme is also ensuring that Nigerian graduates actively participate in SDGs implementation processes by serving as SDGs champions at the grassroots.
”Going forward, we will invigorate the Goal achievement process at the grassroots by engaging the services of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals Ambassadors we appointed to support our efforts at the national level.
”We will also encourage more sub-national authorities to appoint and train SDGs Champions,” he said.
The president also re-affirmed Nigeria’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals.
Buhari told the meeting that anti-corruption institutions have been strengthened to enable the administration effectively combat illicit financial flows and recover proceeds.
He also acknowledged that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic had threatened to derail the progress in achieving SDGs.
According to the president, Nigeria is addressing the threat by re-dedicating efforts towards economic diversification, focusing on agriculture and the mining sectors.
”Nigeria has made good strides in SDGs domestication processes, as we have commenced the re-alignment of the National Statistical System with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs.
”We have developed a novel home-grown ‘Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Model, as an analytical framework for assessing how policy making can better address the indivisible nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.
”Nigeria has also set up a Model Private Sector Advisory Group and an SDGs Donors’ Forum with a view to engaging critical stakeholders towards the attainment of the SDGs,” he added.
The president recalled that Nigeria presented its second Voluntary National Review on SDGs to the UN High-Level Political Forum in July 2020.
According to the president, the second Voluntary National Review highlighted the nation efforts to meet SDGs targets on the critical issues of poverty and an inclusive economy; health and well-being; education and gender equality; enabling environment of peace and security; and partnerships.
He noted that these targets were based on current development priorities, as captured in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020), as well as the Medium Term National Development Plan (2020-2025).
Buhari also pledged Nigeria’s commitment to mainstreaming the SDGs into subsequent development plans.
While setting out Nigeria’s vision for the Decade of Action, the president pledged that the country will implement unique initiatives such as the re-aligned National Statistical System to effectively track and monitor the implementation of the SDGs on annual basis.
He said other initiatives include the Nigeria Integrated SDG simulation Model to support the domestication of the Planning Model across the 36 states and the Integrated National Financing Frameworks for SDGs.
The president added that government would ensure smooth implementation of the scaled-up National Social Investment Programme to reach more poor and vulnerable Nigerians in line with government’s commitment to lift 100 million people out of Poverty within a 10-year period.
”We will be engaging all segments of the society for the achievement of the SDGs,” the Nigerian leader said.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Ministry to intensify awareness on importance of ozone layer protection
The Minister of the Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, on Friday said the ministry would intensify its awareness on the importance of the protection of the ozone layer through the effective collaboration of relevant stakeholders.
Abubakar made this known at a ministerial briefing on the commemoration of 2020 International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer with the theme, “Ozone for Life,’’ in Abuja.
He said that the ministry was also committed to the training and monitoring of technicians in the affected sectors on ozone-friendly technologies.
The Minister said the theme has two connotations that needed a healthy ozone layer to protect lives and the environment, as well as safeguarding future generations to come.
Abubakar said that the ministry, in collaboration with the United Nation Development Programme, (UNDP), the United Nation Industrial Development Organisation, (UNIDO), the World Bank and the UN Environment Programme, were the agencies implementing Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS).
“In line with the protocol`s ODS phase out schedule, we have assisted over 600 large, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises in the foam, refrigeration and air conditioning, aerosols, fire protection and solvent sectors.
“The assistance is to convert to ozone-friendly substances and technologies.
“This resulted in 100 per cent phase out of over 4,000 metric tonnes of ODS, with high ozone depletion potentials.
“About 26 institutions, (polytechnics and government technical colleges) were identified and equipped to serve as training centres on good refrigeration practices.
“We have also trained the trainers from the identified centres and developed training manuals on good refrigeration practices.
“These have led to the training of more than 10,000 refrigeration technicians in the refrigeration servicing sector.
He said that the ODS phase out activities were achieved with support from the multilateral fund for the implementation of the Montreal protocol.
Abubakar noted that the ministry was implementing the protocol`s Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs) project.
He said that the project was targeted at phasing out HCFCs gases R-22 and 141b, mainly used in Nigeria as refrigerants and blowing agents in the refrigeration, air conditioning and foam sectors respectively.
The minister said that the ministry was committed in the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements that the country was a party to.
According to him, the upgrade of a system house at Vitapur Nigeria Ltd (a subsidiary of vitafoam Nig. Ltd), for the formulation of ozone friendly systems in the manufacture of rigid polyurethane foam was completed in 2019.
“I am glad to inform Nigerians that I will be commissioning this particular project on Sept. 22.
“The plant which is one of the two such in Africa, the other being in South Africa, will supply ozone friendly substances to downstream end-users in the rigid polyurethane foam sector.
He said that the benefit of the project was to provide ozone friendly and low global warning potential blowing agent in the production of rigid foam.
The Minister said the ministry would be engaging in capacity building activities on maintenance and servicing of space cooling to avoid spread of COVID 19 while minimising impacts of energy efficiency and climate.
He said the ministry was currently preparing to commence the implementation of stage 2 of the Hydrochlorofurocarbons Phase Management Plan (HPMP).
The Minister added that the government of Italy has offered support as a bilateral partner.
Abubakar said that the stage 2 was built upon the achievement of the previous stage, aimed at achieving the complete phase out of HCFC-141b in foam related applications.
He explained that Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was adopted in 1985 and entered into force in 1988.
The Minister added that the binding instrument to ensure compliance with the provisions of the convention was also adopted on Sept. 16, 1987, which became the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer.
“Since then, Sept. 16 has been set aside to commemorate the international day for the preservation of the ozone layer by the global community, in line with the UN General Assembly Resolution,’’.
The minister, however, appreciated the efforts of UNDP, UNIDO, World Bank, UN Environment, the government of Italy and other relevant agencies for their support and cooperation in the implementation of projects.
Earlier, Mr Jean Bakole, Country Representative and Regional Director of UNIDO, said that the office would continue to support the government in promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation development.
Bakole, who was represented by Mr Oluyomi Banjo, an environment expert in the UNIDO, thanked the minister on the achievement of all the projects across the country.
Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
Trump will not visit UN General Assembly during upcoming session – White House
United States President Donald Trump has abandoned his plans to deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in person, the White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, said.
Meadows added that Trump would address participants of the 75th Session of the UNGA in a televised format.
The current session of the UNGA started on Tuesday and will last until Sept. 30.
The week of the high-level General Debate will be held from Sept. 22 to Sept. 29.
As many as 119 heads of state and 54 heads of government will address the session.
In mid-August, Trump told reporters that he was thinking “about going directly to the UN to do the speech.”
The UNGA is one of the six principal organs of the UN, serving as the main deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ of the UN.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Sadiya Hamza