UN

UN defines Holocaust denial in new resolution

The resolution, put forward by Israel and Germany, was passed without a vote by the 193-member General Assembly.

The move sends "a strong... message against the denial or the distortion of these historical facts", the UN said.

Six million Jewish people died in the Holocaust - Nazi Germany's campaign to eradicate Europe's Jewish population.

On Thursday, the UN General Assembly said it "rejects and condemns without any reservation any denial of The Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part".

Distress signal prompts UN concern after Tonga volcanic eruption

Initial reports suggested no mass casualties on the main island of Tongatapu, but two people were reported missing and the capital Nuku'alofa was badly damaged, as were resorts and homes along the island's western beaches, it said.

"Further volcanic activity cannot be ruled out," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in the update on Monday, reporting only minor injuries but emphasising that formal assessments, especially of the outer islands, had yet to be released with communications badly hit.

Dozens killed in Burkina Faso attack

Homes and the local market were burned during the overnight raid on Solhan.

No group has said it was behind the violence, but Islamist attacks are increasingly common in the country, especially in border regions.

The UN chief said he was "outraged" by the incident.

António Guterres "strongly condemns the heinous attack and underscores the urgent need for the international community to redouble support to member states in the fight against violent extremism and its unacceptable human toll," his spokesperson said.

Afghanistan conflict: US makes new push for UN-led peace process

In a letter to the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Blinken called for a 90-day reduction in violence and a transitional government formed from both sides.

Blinken also said no decision had been made about whether to stick to a planned US troop withdrawal by 1 May.

He called on President Ghani to show "urgent leadership".

Blinken's letter, a copy of which was obtained by the BBC on Sunday, reflected the difficult position the US finds itself in as it reviews whether to withdraw its last 2500 troops.

COVID-19 vaccination ‘wildly uneven and unfair’: UN Secretary-General

Addressing the virtual meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres described the goal of providing vaccines to all as “the biggest moral test before the global community”, underlining that everyone, everywhere must be included.  

“Defeating COVID19, now that we have begun to have the scientific capacity to do so, is more important than ever”, he said. 

UN reaches out to Pacific, post-Cyclone Harold

The severe cyclone swept through Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga.

Dozens are believed to have died across the region from the storm which destroyed many homes, buildings and food crops.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his deep solidarity with the people of the Pacific as they faced the impact of the cyclone, along with other climate-related challenges, as well as the coronavirus pandemic, which added a worrying new dimension to existing vulnerabilities, according to a statement.

UN urges Fiji to amend Media Decree

In its Universal Periodic Review report published in December, the United Nations' Human Rights Council called on Fiji to amend its Media Industry Development Decree 2010.

The report also calls for Fiji to avoid "abusive interpretations" of any journalistic publications.

They have conveyed to the government their disappointment at aspects of the media laws," according to the general secretary of the Fiji Media Association, Stanley Simpson.

Pacific voices 'need to be reflected in UN language'

That's the view of the University of the South Pacific's director at the Oceania Centre, Frances Koya-Vaka'uta.

The Pacific is the first region to host the series of United Nations consultations aimed at turning around the decline of the oceans.

Dr Koya-Vakauta said the Pacific voice risks being lost among generic UN language when it's combined with contributions from the eight other consultations.

She said Pacific people need to see themselves reflected in official language for it to resonate properly and this includes plans for the coming 'Decade of the Ocean'.

Tonga warns of dire security threats from climate change on island atoll countries

“In contributing towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its landmark Goals (SDGs), including the internationally agreed blueprint for the sustainable development of small island developing States (SIDS), the SAMOA Pathway, Tonga has made both accords an integral part of its national planning processes,” he said on Wednesday.

He emphasised the importance of the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, which he pointed out will review the SAMOA Pathway in 2019.

NZ govt MP calls for West Papua issue to go to UN

Louisa Wall made the comment at the launch of a new book examining New Zealand's position on West Papua.

In her book See No Evil: New Zealand's betrayal of the people of West Papua, author Maire Leadbeater criticises successive governments for failing to support Papuan rights.

Ms Wall said the book offers telling insights on how Papuans had no say in their homeland's incorporation into Indonesia in the 1960s.