UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A rare diplomatic charm offensive by North Korea appears to be over after it failed to halt a European and Japanese push for the United Nations General Assembly to support referring the hermit state to the International Criminal Court over allegations of human rights abuses.
In a statement given to U.N. states and obtained by Reuters on Monday, Pyongyang said it had suspended talks on a draft resolution that urges the Security Council to consider sending North Korea to The Hague-based court over accusations of crimes against humanity. The draft also encourages the 15-member council to mull targeted sanctions for human rights abusers.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States is urging countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia to commit more to U.N. peacekeeping operations around the world as Washington considers where it might be able to do the same, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said on Friday.
The United Nations has more than 110,000 soldiers and police in 16 peacekeeping operations around the world in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and in Haiti. While Western countries used to routinely offer peackeepers for blue-helmeted U.N. battalions, the United Nations now relies mainly on developing countries.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council imposed targeted sanctions on Friday on Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and two senior Houthi rebel leaders for threatening the peace and stability of the country and obstructing the political process.
Lithuanian U.N. Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite, chair of the council’s Yemen sanctions committee, said all 15 members had agreed to blacklist Saleh and Houthi rebel military leaders Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi and Abdullah Yahya al Hakim. The three men are now subject to a global travel ban and asset freeze.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Germany and Brazil are pushing the United Nations to be tougher on spying by beefing up an earlier U.N. resolution raising concerns that mass surveillance, interception of digital communications and personal data collection could harm human rights.
In a follow up to a U.N. resolution adopted last year, the two countries have drafted a new text that now includes metadata. The draft says unlawful or arbitrary surveillance, interception of communications and collection of personal data, including metadata, are “highly intrusive acts.”
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The demolition of a dozen remaining chemical weapons production facilities in Syria is scheduled to begin later this month while work will continue on the verification of the government’s declarations, Australia’s U.N. envoy said on Wednesday.
“There are seven hangars and five underground tunnels, which need to be destroyed,” Ambassador Gary Quinlan, president of the U.N. Security Council this month, told reporters after a closed-door briefing by Sigrid Kaag, a U.N. special adviser on Syria’s chemical weapons program.