James Crawford obituary

Energetic public international lawyer who advised many countries and reshaped the rules on wrongdoings between them In 1996, the UN international law commission asked James Crawford to codify the rules on the wrongdoings of states. Half a century after its initiation, the project was mired in controversy, with failure in the air. Five years later, […]

Ratko Mladić, ‘butcher of Bosnia’, loses appeal against genocide conviction

Judgment means 78-year-old former Bosnian Serb military chief will spend the rest of his life in prison Analysis: Ratko Mladić – life in prison is as close to justice as his victims will get Ratko Mladić, the former Bosnian Serb commander nicknamed the “butcher of Bosnia”, will spend the rest of his life in prison […]

We are running out of time to reach deal to save natural world, says UN talks chair

Warning comes amid fears of further delays to Kunming summit, which aims to agree on curbing destruction of ecosystems The world is running out of time to reach an ambitious deal to stem the destruction of the natural world, the co-chair of negotiations for a crucial UN wildlife summit has warned, amid fears of a […]

UN experts urge Canada and Vatican to hold swift mass graves investigation

Nine experts call for ‘full-fledged investigations’ after discovery of remains of 215 Indigenous children at former residential school UN human rights experts have urged the Canadian government and the Vatican to hold swift and thorough investigations into the discovery of unmarked graves at a former residential school in British Columbia. The unmarked graves of up […]

World’s soils ‘under great pressure’, says UN pollution report

Soils provide 95% of all food but are damaged by industrial, farming, mining and urban pollution The world’s soils, which provide 95% of humanity’s food, are “under great pressure”, according to a UN report on soil pollution. Soils are also the largest active store of carbon, after the oceans, and therefore crucial in fighting the […]

The Chagos Islands: a millstone around the neck of British diplomacy | Letters

With political will, the UK could bring about an overall settlement for the displaced islanders who wish to return, writes David Snoxell, while Peter Harris says it’s never the wrong time to do the right thing Your editorial (The Guardian view on Britain and the Chagos Islands: time for justice, 1 June) made a powerful […]

World must rewild on massive scale to heal nature and climate, says UN

The ‘decade on ecosystem restoration’ launches with a call for ‘imagination’ and action on never-before-seen scale The world must rewild and restore an area the size of China to meet commitments on nature and the climate, says the UN, and the revival of ecosystems must be met with all the ambition of the space race. […]

EU’s greenhouse gas emissions fell by nearly 4% in 2019, data shows

Fall of 3.8% for member states brought emissions to 24% below 1990 levels The EU’s greenhouse gas emissions fell by nearly 4% in 2019, data from Europe’s environmental watchdog has shown, as countries met online for the first time in UN climate negotiations. The fall of 3.8% for EU member states in 2019 brought EU […]

Investing 0.1% of global GDP could avoid breakdown of ecosystems, says UN report

Nature’s financial value must be considered to avoid ‘irreversible’ degradation to biodiversity and land The world needs to quadruple its annual investment in nature if the climate, biodiversity and land degradation crises are to be tackled by the middle of the century, according to a new UN report. Investing just 0.1% of global GDP every […]

At least 15 die in lava flows after volcano erupts in Democratic Republic of Congo

More than 500 homes have been destroyed by the lava that has poured into villages, officials and survivors say At least 15 people died when torrents of lava poured into villages after dark in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, destroying more than 500 homes, officials and survivors said on Sunday. The eruption of Mount […]

US-Iran nuclear pact revival at risk after delays to new inspection deal

UN watchdog and Iran so far unable to agree terms for one-month extension of monitoring of nuclear sites The future of talks to bring the US back into the Iran nuclear deal is under threat after the UN nuclear watchdog was unable to reach an expected agreement on how to continue to inspect Iran’s nuclear […]

Palestinians return to devastated homes as UN calls for Gaza dialogue

World leaders welcome ceasefire but Hamas and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu remain belligerent Tens of thousands of displaced Palestinians in Gaza have begun returning to their homes to inspect the devastation from 11 days of Israeli airstrikes in its war with Hamas. Gaza City, on the Mediterranean coast, had been warped by the intense attacks, with […]

UK climate champion ‘stubbornly optimistic’ about net zero deal at UN talks

Nigel Topping acknowledges world is running out of time as he lobbies businesses and lawmakers in lead-up to Cop26 summit The UK’s climate champion, Nigel Topping, says he is stubbornly optimistic that the world will converge on an agreement to forge a transition to a net zero future at the UN climate talks later this […]

Israel and Palestine heading for ‘uncontainable’ crisis, UN chief warns

Forty-two Palestinians killed by airstrikes in Gaza as Hamas launches more rocket attacks on Israel The eruption of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is heading for an “uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis”, the UN secretary general has warned after a day of significant escalation with 42 Palestinians killed by airstrikes in Gaza. The death toll made it […]

Joe Biden feels political ground shift as Israel-Gaza conflict rages on

Analysis: US president may find himself increasingly isolated in his resolute defence of Israel In his staunch defence of Israel, Joe Biden is sticking to a course set decades ago as a young senator, and so far he has not given ground on the issue to the progressive wing of his party or many Jewish […]

UK insists Cop26 must be held in person if possible

Alok Sharma is working with health experts and Scottish government on best way for climate summit to go ahead Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The UK government is considering how to use Covid-19 vaccines and testing to try to ensure vital UN climate talks this year go ahead in person, rather […]

Violence against women ‘a pandemic’, warns UN envoy

A decade after Istanbul convention was drawn up to end gender-based violence, activists report decline in women’s rights and safety A decade after the launch of the Istanbul convention, the landmark human rights treaty to stop gender-based violence, women are facing a global assault on their rights and safety, according to campaigners. This week marked […]

Boris Johnson’s advisers may push for a virtual Cop26. He should ignore them | Fiona Harvey

The UK must risk an in-person meeting in Glasgow if this crucial climate conference is to be a success Walkouts, standoffs, shouting, tears, bloodletting – the UN climate Cops have seen it all. The annual meetings, in which all countries bar a few failed states take part, under the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate […]

Xinjiang births plummeted after crackdown on Uyghurs, says report

Birthrate fell by almost half between 2017-2019, research finds, adding to evidence of coercive fertility policies Birthrates in Xinjiang fell by almost half in the two years after the Chinese government implemented policies to reduce the number of babies born to Uyghur and other Muslim minority families, new research has claimed. The figures show unprecedented […]

Israel-Gaza violence intensifies – in pictures

Palestinian Hamas militants and the Israeli army have traded fresh rocket fire and airstrikes in the worst violence since the 2014 conflict. Intense fighting continued overnight as the UN’s Middle East envoy warned the two sides were heading towards a full-scale war Israel-Gaza violence: death toll rises as UN envoy warns over escalation Continue reading…

The Guardian view on online abuse of female journalists: a problem for all | Editorial

The UN’s warning about a tide of misogynistic hate needs urgent attention A new report by the UN’s cultural agency, Unesco, makes horrifying reading. A global survey of 901 journalists from 125 countries found that female journalists across the world are under unprecedented levels of attack. The intent, says the UN, is to belittle, humiliate, […]

EU countries snub Priti Patel’s plans to return asylum seekers

UN criticises the proposals as so damaging they risked Britain’s ‘global credibility’ Not a single European country has decided to support the UK government’s controversial asylum plans, with the UN on Saturday night criticising the proposals as so damaging they risked Britain’s “global credibility”. Six weeks after the home secretary, Priti Patel, unveiled a sweeping […]

UK aid cuts will put tens of thousands of children at risk of famine, says charity

Save the Children’s analysis finds Britain will spend 80% less on nutrition abroad this year, as hunger levels rise around the world Britain is set to spend 80% less on helping feed children in poorer nations than before the pandemic, according to a charity’s analysis. Save the Children said the British government will spend less […]

Cut methane emissions to rapidly fight climate disasters, UN report says

Fossil fuels, cattle and rotting waste produce greenhouse gas responsible for 30% of global heating Slashing methane emissions is vital to tackling the climate crisis and rapidly curbing the extreme weather already hitting people across the world today, according to a new UN report. In 2020 there was a record rise in the amount of […]

UN condemns violent repression of Colombia protests after at least 18 die

Riot police rampage across streets, shoot protesters and charge at crowds with motorcycles in week of unrest across the country The United Nations has condemned the violent repression of protests in Colombia, after clashes between police and demonstrators left at least 18 dead and 87 people missing. In a week of unrest across the country, […]

UN catalogues ‘chilling tide of abuse’ against female journalists

Misogyny, bigotry and threats ‘cut public trust in critical media’, warns report after major investigation An epidemic of online violence against female journalists worldwide is undermining their reporting, spilling over into real-life attacks and harassment, and puts their health and professional prospects in jeopardy, the UN has warned. The avalanche of misogynistic abuse and threats […]

Guantánamo detainee takes on CIA ‘black sites’ in UN human rights case

Palestinian Abu Zubaydah, detained for 19 years without trial, takes US, UK and five other countries before panel A Palestinian man held in Guantánamo Bay is taking the US, the UK, and five other states before a UN human rights panel for their role in the CIA rendition and detention of terrorism suspects at “black […]

Millions at risk from Covid surge in Syria amid test and oxygen shortages

In country where 90% of population live in poverty, ‘situation is deteriorating extremely rapidly’ Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Aid agencies and the UN have warned that a “rapid and accelerating” wave of coronavirus and shortages of equipment such as tests and oxygen is putting millions of people across conflict-ravaged Syria […]

Almost 30 million will need aid in Sahel this year as crisis worsens, UN warns

Armed conflicts, the climate crisis and Covid-19 are contributing to chronic risk of food insecurity in the region, says Unocha report A record 29 million people will need humanitarian assistance in the Sahel and the Lake Chad basin in 2021 amid a deepening crisis, a report by the UN office for humanitarian affairs (Unocha) has […]

Global alliance for phasing out coal not fit for purpose, says NGO

Powering Past Coal Alliance accused of failing to follow up on pledges as many countries expand use of coal An attempt by the UK government to encourage countries and businesses around the world to quit coal for power generation is failing to make an impact, and in danger of being used as “greenwash”, an assessment […]