U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley declared victory after member nations agreed to a $600 million cut from the annual peacekeeping budget. Neglected in her Twitter declaration is that the cuts had already been planned, prior to Trump’s election. The UN peacekeeping budget declined from $7.87 billion to $7.3 billion with the U.S. contributing a smaller percentage as compared to last year.
The situation for the 20 million people at risk of famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria remains dire, warned the U.N.’s chief humanitarian. “Twenty million people remain at risk, and 10 million more could join them without sufficient funding and improved access,” U.N. humanitarian coordinator Stephen O’Brien warned.
Congolese authorities have identified 10 more mass graves in a region where the military and militia fighters accuse each other of summary executions and burials. The 10 new graves announced by the military on Monday bring to 52 the total number of such sites found in the Kasai region since the start of an insurrection last August by the Kamuina Nsapu militia which wants the withdrawal of military forces from the area.
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.