Weekly News Update November 9-13 2020
60th Anniversary of United Nations Police - UN Chief video message
Devastating Shipwreck off Libya Claims More than 70 Lives: IOM
Geneva- Staff from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) report a devastating shipwreck has claimed the lives of at least 74 migrants today (12/11) off the coast of Khums, Libya, the latest in a series of tragedies involving at least eight other shipwrecks in the Central Mediterranean since 1 October. The boat was reported to be carrying over 120 people, among them women and children. Forty-seven survivors have been brought to shore by the coast guard and fishermen and 31 bodies have been retrieved while the search for victims continues.
In the past two days at least 19 people, including two children drowned after two boats capsized in the Central Mediterranean, while the vessel Open Arms – the only NGO ship currently operating on this route – rescued more than 200 people in three operations.
“The mounting loss of life in the Mediterranean is a manifestation of the inability of States to take decisive action to redeploy much needed, dedicated Search and Rescue capacity in the deadliest sea-crossing in the world,” said Federico Soda, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. “We have long called for a change in the evidently unworkable approach to Libya and the Mediterranean, including ending returns to the country and establishing a clear disembarkation mechanism followed by solidarity from other states. Thousands of vulnerable people continue to pay the price for inaction both at sea and on land.”
So far this year, at least 900 people have drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach European shores, some due to delays in rescue. More than 11,000 others have been returned to Libya, putting them at risk of facing human rights violations, detention, abuse, trafficking and exploitation, as documented by the United Nations.
IOM has recorded a recent upsurge in departures from the country with some 1,900 people intercepted and returned and over 780 arrivals in Italy from Libya since the beginning of October alone.
Worsening humanitarian conditions of migrants detained in overcrowded centres, widespread arbitrary arrests and imprisonment, and extortion and abuse are alarming. In the absence of any safeguards for migrants returned to the country, the Libyan Search and Rescue zone must be redefined to allow international actors to conduct life-saving operations.
IOM maintains that Libya is not a safe port for return and reiterates its call on the international community and the European Union to take urgent and concrete action to end the cycle of return and exploitation. Continuous restrictions on the work of NGOs conducting crucial rescue operations work must be lifted immediately and their crucial interventions recognized in line with the humanitarian imperative of saving lives.
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Uyghurs Gather on Capital Hill for East Turkistan's Independence Day
Calls on governments worldwide to take action against 21st century Holocaust
WASHINGTON: November 12, 2020 - The East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE), led by Prime Minister Salih Hudayar, rallied in front of the U.S. Capital on Thursday, to commemorate the 87th anniversary of the East Turkistan Republic.
ETGE held similar demonstrations and events in Japan, Turkey, France, and Canada.
East Turkistan has a complicated history. On November 12, 1933, its people overthrew Chinese occupation, only to be overthrown six months later. On November 12, 1944, the Second East Turkistan Republic was established. Five years later, the Chinese invaded, once again, reports Rebecca Burnett of LocalDVM.
In 1876, the Manchu Qing Dynasty invaded East Turkistan and renamed "Xinjiang (New Territory)" in 1884. The Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Tatar, and other peoples of East Turkistan have spent the last 71 years fighting for independence. For the last six years, millions of East Turkistanis, mostly of Muslim faith, have been held in concentration camps, prisons, and slave labor camps. According to survivors’ accounts, they’re being tortured, killed for their organs, raped, sterilized, and executed.
So-called “family members are surveilling those outside of the camps.” Over 500,000 children are being schooled in state-run orphanages, reports LocalDVM.
“Our towns, our religious places of worship, and even our cemeteries have been destroyed as China seeks to leave no evidence that we existed,” Prime Minister Hudayar said on Thursday. “For us, there is only one solution, and that is the restoration of our country; East Turkistan’s independence. For without independence, we will have no human rights.” ETGE is advocating for official recognition from the world’s governments and parliaments. U.S. senators have introduced a bipartisan resolution that would declare the human rights abuses as a genocide.
In June, President Donald Trump signed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act into law. The Canadian Parliament has recognized the abuses as a genocide. “We face and continue to face numerous obstacles and malicious efforts by China and its agents to coerce, infiltrate, influence, and undermine the East Turkistan Government in Exile and East Turkistan’s struggle to regain our independence,” Hudayar said. “However, we have full faith that with the support of our people and our foreign friends, we will able to overcome these obstacles and malicious efforts. Nothing can stop us from pursuing our right to exist as a free and independent country.”
Hudayar said he thanks the people of Bangladesh and all the other supporters worldwide for commemorating East Turkistan’s Independence Day and for protesting against China’s genocide of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in Occupied East Turkistan.
To find out more about the East Turkistan Government in Exile and the plight of the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples, go to https://east-turkistan.net.
Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan presents credentials to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
(New York - November 12, 2020) Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan formally presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday morning.
Following an official ceremony, the two met for consultations where Ambassador Erdan raised with the Secretary-General several issues for the UN to address.
Ambassador Erdan highlighted to the Secretary-General the ongoing systematic bias displayed against Israel in UN bodies, particularly in the activities of organizations such as UNRWA that perpetuate the conflict and serve as a huge barrier to any future political process.
He also discussed Israeli soldiers and civilians held captive by Hamas, calling on the Secretary-General to facilitate Red Cross access and assist in all efforts to secure their release. Hamas, an internationally designated terrorist organization, continues to hold the remains of two Israeli soldiers kidnapped in 2014 – one of them, Hadar Goldin, was taken during a UN mediated ceasefire – and two civilians.
Ambassador Erdan said he intends to combat these endemic issues during his tenure and hopes to translate the recent peace agreements signed between Israel and three Arab countries into improved cooperation at the UN.
Attached is photo of Ambassador Erdan and Secretary-General Guterres (Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten)
Senior Advisor / Spokesperson
Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN
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REYKJAVÍK GLOBAL FORUM - WOMEN LEADERS 2020