This week, a panel convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) reached unanimous consensus that it is ethical to treat Ebola patients with experimental drugs to counter the largest, most severe and most complex outbreak of the virus in history.
In its latest update of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, WHO reported that between 7 and 9 August, a total of 69 new cases and 52 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, bringing the total numbers of cases to 1,848 with 1,013 deaths.
Read more at: http://j.mp/1sSJpgl
Iraq’s Yazidis at risk of genocide
Over the past weeks an estimated 250,000 members of religious minorities in Iraq have been forced to flee their homes due to IS’s violent advancements.
The Yazidi population is especially vulnerable, as those who remain trapped face not only hunger and thirst but also are at risk of genocide, with the Islamic State (IS) systematically targeting and attacking minorities in the areas where they are gaining control.
The United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) released a statement yesterday calling for immediate action to be taken to protect vulnerable groups in Iraq.
Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák stated: “All possible measures must be taken urgently to avoid a mass atrocity and potential genocide within days or hours – civilians need to be protected on the ground and escorted out of situations of extreme peril”. Izsak further cautioned that “the responsibility to protect populations at risk of atrocity crimes falls both on the Iraqi Government and the international community.”
IS has been accused of gross human rights violations which could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. “Freedom of religion and belief is being denied in the most gross and systematic way possible – through the attempted extermination of religious minorities,” the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, said.
The UN has received verified reports that IS is systematically hunting down members of minority groups who remain trapped in areas under their control and giving them the ultimatum, “convert or die,” stated Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. “We cannot stand by in the face of such atrocities. International actors must do all in their power to support those on the ground with the capacity to protect lives.”
Despite hundreds being helped to relative safety by Kurdish and Iraqi forces, around 40,000 Yazidis are reportedly still hiding in a mountainous region of Sinjar, where they have sought refuge from IS militants.
Next week Malala Yousafzai will return to the UN to take your questions alongside Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs), the most successful global anti-poverty push in history.
You can be a part of this special event by commenting on this post with your questions for them!
Find out more about the MDGs at: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
UN APPOINTMENT OF DIANE CORNER
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Diane Corner of the United Kingdom as his Deputy Special Representative and Deputy Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), established by Security Council resolution 2149 (2014) of 10 April 2014.
Ms. Corner succeeds Lawrence Wohlers of the United States of America, who will complete his planned short-term assignment. The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Wohlers for his dedicated service and political engagement during a critical time of transition and start-up of the peacekeeping operation.
Ms. Corner brings to the appointment several years of relevant diplomatic experience in the Great Lakes region in her 32 years with the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including as the British High Commissioner to Tanzania and United Kingdom Representative to the East African Community (2009-2013), and most recently as the British Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and non-Resident Ambassador to the Republic of Congo (2013-present).
Ms. Corner also served as Acting High Commissioner to Sierra Leone (2008-2009), as Deputy High Commissioner to Zimbabwe (2001-2003), and as Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy Office in Berlin (1994-1998). Ms Corner’s first overseas posting was as Second Secretary Political at the British High Commission in Malaysia (1985-1988). She also worked for some time at the United Kingdom Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
Ms. Corner holds a degree in French and Politics (Joint Honours) from the University of Bristol. In 2000, she completed the Senior Course at the NATO Defence College in Rome.