The U.S. has rejected a UN resolution aimed at preventing violence against women because it included language on access to safe abortions. The resolution expressed “outrage at the persistence and pervasiveness of all forms of violence against women and girls worldwide” and called on countries to take immediate steps to prevent gender-based violence and discrimination.
The United Nations is urging countries around the Caribbean to view the recent surge in refugees, from near and far, as a long-term benefit and not just a short-term challenge. More than 5,000 people came to various Caribbean nations last year seeking asylum, representing a 257 percent increase in the number of asylum seekers between mid-2015 and mid-2016 for the region.
Food aid for millions of Ethiopians will run out by the end of June, according to the United Nations. The Ethiopian government appears to be playing down the crisis, for various reasons. But the UN says if nothing is done, the country’s food crisis could expand and destabilize a region with two neighboring countries already facing famine.
After posturing to withdraw for months, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced yesterday in Geneva that the U.S. will remain on the Human Rights Council for now – on conditions. Haley had two demands: Reform membership elections and address the council’s “chronic anti-Israel bias.”
Experts are gathering at the United Nations headquarters in New York today to discuss the importance of engaging some of the world’s most vulnerable people – refugee women and girls – in efforts to mitigate the global displacement crisis.
Cuba is making notable progress in the fight against human trafficking, according to the United Nations. United Nations Special Rapporteur Maria Grazia Giammarinaro praised Cuba’s “good practices” in combatting the global issue, crediting the country’s universal access to basic health care, educational and social security systems with reducing the social inequalities and vulnerabilities that can prompt people to flee the country and become victims to those who profit from trafficking.
The U.N. again warned that as many as 20 million people are at risk of famine in Nigeria, Yemen, South Sudan and Somalia. Warnings in February were not enough to raise the money needed to prevent a global hunger crisis. So, new attempts are being made to convince donor countries to do more.
South Sudan’s Ministry of Finance has decided to put a hold on a plan to charge as much as $10,000 per aid worker, a plan that aid groups criticized as wrongheaded at a time of great humanitarian need.
The new U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley wants to see some changes. While she championed human rights at an event Wednesday hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, she also criticized the United Nations without evidence or solutions. Her comments echoed the White House’s plan to reduce U.S. contributions to the U.N., taking particular aim at peacekeeping.
The Trump administration wants to cut U.S. contributions to the U.N. by more than 50 percent, according to a report from Foreign Policy. The reduction is significantly more than what was set out in a draft executive order leaked in late January. And the proposal would come on top of a proposed 37 percent cut to the U.S. Agency for International Development expected to be in the administration’s 2018 budget proposal, to be released on Thursday.