Top news of the day | Friday: Gaza, Ukraine, Belarus, International Women’s Day

Главные новости дня | пятница: Газа, Украина, Беларусь, Международный женский день

A woman near her destroyed house in the Kyiv region. Top news of the day | Friday: Gaza, Ukraine, Belarus, International Women’s Day UN

The main news of the day in the UN and in the world: dangers associated with the impending Israeli army offensive on Rafah; emergency meeting of the Security Council on Ukraine; UN experts – about the verdict to the leaders of the Belarusian “Spring”; message from the head of the UN on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

Offensive on Rafah

An Israeli offensive against the city of Rafah, where 1.5 million residents of the Gaza Strip have taken refuge, will significantly increase the risk of war crimes, acts of genocide and crimes against humanity. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk warned about this on Friday. Turk’s spokesman Jeremy Lawrence told reporters in Geneva that the already disastrous situation could worsen in the coming days as the Israeli army threatens a full-scale invasion of the densely populated city. The holy month for Muslims around the world begins this weekend – a time for “peace and tolerance”, recalled a representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Security Council meeting on Ukraine

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the latest events in Ukraine. The meeting was requested at the initiative of the Ukrainian delegation in connection with the recent attacks on Odessa: on Wednesday, a rocket exploded next to a convoy that included the President of Ukraine and the Prime Minister of Greece. “The latest series of attacks on the Odessa, Kharkiv, Sumy and Donetsk regions demonstrates that the conflict continues to cause immeasurable human suffering, death and destruction to the people of Ukraine,” Lisa Doten, a spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said speaking at Friday’s Security Council meeting. “We condemn attacks on civilians and infrastructure – they are unacceptable and must stop immediately,” Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East Khaled Khiari said during his speech.

UN experts – about the verdict of the leaders of the Belarusian “Spring”

The trial of the leaders of the Belarusian human rights center “Viasna” was retaliation for their work defending human rights in Belarus. This opinion was expressed on Friday by independent UN experts. The statement was published a year after a court in Minsk sentenced Belarusian human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski to 10 years in prison, and two of his colleagues to 9 and 7 years. The experts called on the Belarusian authorities to fully cooperate with UN human rights mechanisms, overturn politically motivated sentences and conduct a new trial in compliance with fair trial guarantees.

Message from the UN chief on the occasion of the International Women’s Day

Women and girls are making great strides – breaking down barriers, dismantling stereotypes and driving progress towards a more just and equal world. This is stated in the video message of the UN Secretary-General dedicated to International Women’s Day. “At the same time, they face enormous obstacles,” Antonio Guterres continued, “marginalization, injustice and discrimination, and the ongoing epidemic of violence against women is a shame for all humanity.” The UN chief spoke about the need to support women’s organizations, invest in programs to end violence against women, and promote the inclusion of women in work in areas such as the economy, digital technologies, peacebuilding and the fight against climate change.


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