A Weekly Update from the UN Department of Public Information
No 46/ 11 June 2014
High Commissioner for Human Rights deplores lack of accountability in Syria
In her final address to the Human Rights Council as HighCommissioner on 10 June, NaviPillay said that “the relentless violence in Syria is a tragedy for the Syrian people and a tragic failure for the case of human rights”. She deplored the fact that repeated calls to end the violence have been ignored by the Syrian Government and by some opposition groups; and that external powers continue to fuel the violence through the supply of arms as well as inflows of foreign fighters. “It is shocking beyond words that war crimes and crimes against humanity have become commonplace and occur with complete impunity”, she said. She reiterated her disappointment that the Security Council has been unable to agree on action to ensure accountability for such crimes.Referring to the situation in Aleppo,NaviPillay said the city has been bombed to rubble, and expressed outrage at the conditions people of Aleppo live in.
Urgent need to focus on reparations for victims of sexual violence in conflict- UN Women
Speaking at a Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London on 12 June, UN Women Executive Director PhumzileMlambo-Ngcuka presented newly adopted guidelinesfor UN engagement in the area of reparations for victims of conflict-related sexual violence. Noting that global outrage has grown amidst grim reports from Nigeria. Syria and other conflict zones, she noted that reparations are routinely left out of peace negotiations or sidelined in funding priorities, even though they are of utmost importance to survivors. “We need to move this agenda forward in order to ensure real change in the lives of survivors who have seen the horrors of sexual violence in conflict up close”, she said.
The Guidance Note is the result of extensive consultations and research, and seeks to distill experiences across the globe into actionable principles to inform access to justice policy and programming in post-conflict societies.
Norwegian Ship Departs with Syrian chemicals weapons
The OPCW announced on 8 June that a Norwegian vessel, which is participating in the multinational maritime operation to remove chemicals from Syria, departed for Finland and the United States to deliver its cargo of chemicals for destruction in those countries.
This was in accordance with the schedule of the ship, which was notified to the OPCW at an earlier stage. “We remain focused on removing the last consignment of chemicals from Syrian territory and urge the Syrian authorities to complete the removal as soon as possible”, stated the Head of OPCW.
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Drying up – The growing water crisis facing Syria and the region
AMMAN/GENEVA, 6 June 2014 – Parts of Syria are suffering their lowest levels of rainfall in more than half a century, placing more than 4 million children in the war-torn country at even greater risk, UNICEF warned today. The agency said its own work aimed at mitigating the region’s worsening water and sanitation crisis is only 20 per cent funded for 2014.
Water scarcity in Syria is now so acute that it may soon drive more civilians to leave their homes, adding to the 6.5 million people already displaced by the conflict. In Lebanon and Jordan, meanwhile, tensions between local communities and Syrian refugees are being heightened by competition over limited resources, including dwindling water supplies.
Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria
DPI Focus Page on Syria:
OPCW-UN Joint Mission
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