World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

BRIEFING NOTES - (1) Afghanistan (2) WeThe15 Global Disability Rights Campaign

Location: Geneva

Date: 17 August 2021

Subjects: (1) Afghanistan

(2) #WeThe15 global disability rights campaign

(1) Afghanistan:

The desperate scenes at Kabul airport yesterday underlined the gravity of the situation after the Taliban seized all the major population centres in Afghanistan.

Fortunately, the capital and the other last major cities to be captured such as Jalalabad and Mazar-e-Sharif were not subjected to prolonged fighting, bloodshed or destruction. However, the fear instilled in a significant proportion of the population is profound, and – given past history – thoroughly understandable.

Taliban spokespeople have issued a number of statements in recent days, including pledging an amnesty for those who worked for the previous Government. They have also pledged to be inclusive. They have said woman can work and girls can go to school. Such promises will need to be honoured, and for the time being -- again understandably, given past history -- these declarations have been greeted with some scepticism. Nevertheless, the promises have been made, and whether or not they are honoured or broken will be closely scrutinized.

As the Secretary-General said in his statement to the Security Council yesterday, all parties, including the Taliban have an obligation to protect civilians and to uphold human rights. They must respect and protect both international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

As the High Commissioner noted a week ago, and the Secretary-General also pointed out yesterday, there have been chilling reports of human rights abuses, and of restrictions on the rights of individuals, especially women and girls, in some parts of the country captured over the past few weeks. Such reports continue to be received. Unfortunately, for the time being, the flow of information has been considerably disrupted, and we have not been in a position to verify the most recent allegations.

There have been many hard-won advances in human rights over the past two decades. The rights of all Afghans must be defended. We are particularly concerned about the safety of the thousands of Afghans who have been working to promote human rights across the country, and have helped improve the lives of millions.

We call on the international community to extend all possible support to those who may be at imminent risk, and we call on the Taliban to demonstrate through their actions, not just their words, that the fears for the safety of so many people from so many different walks of life are addressed.

(2) #WeThe15 global disability rights campaign

This Thursday, the headquarters of the UN Human Rights Office, Palais Wilson in Geneva, will be lit up in purple - the international colour for disability - to mark the start of a global, 10-year campaign to empower people with disabilities and advance their human rights.

Launching just ahead of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, the #WeThe15 campaign aims to end discrimination against people with disabilities and be a worldwide movement for greater visibility, inclusion and accessibility.

People with disabilities number more than one billion – they represent 15% of the world’s population. They are part of human diversity.

#WeThe15 has brought together a large coalition of international organisations from the world of sport, human rights, policy, business, culture, and entertainment. Over the next decade, #WeThe15 organisations will work with governments, businesses, and the public to bring about change for the world’s largest marginalised group.

To celebrate the launch of this campaign, more than 125 iconic landmarks, spanning several countries and time-zones will light up in purple.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

ITUC: Nobel Prize In Economics Explodes Minimum Wage And Jobs Myth

The prize was awarded to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens for real-world research in the 1990s that demonstrated, empirically, that the idea touted by conservative economists that higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs is not based on fact... More>>

Science Media Centre: New South Wales Opens Up For Fully-vaccinated – Aus SMC Expert Reaction
Sydney has partially eased Covid-19 restrictions for fully-vaccinated individuals after NSW reached its target of 70 per cent of the population double-dosed. The Australian Science Media Centre has asked experts about the possible risks of the country opening up again...More>>


Nobel Peace Prize: Journalists Who ‘Speak Truth To Power’ Recognized

Two campaigning journalists were awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, which UN Secretary-General António Guterres said was recognition that a free press is “essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights – and the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions”...
More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>


COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>


UN: Global Leaders Set To Act To Increase Energy Access While Reducing Emissions At First UN Energy Summit In 40 Years

Significant new commitments for financing clean energy, increasing renewables and improving access to electricity are expected to be announced on 24 September at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy... More>>