UN Recap: October 31-November 5

Editor’s note: Here is a fast take on what the international community has been up to this past week, as seen from the United Nations perch.

Leaders talk global warming in Glasgow 

— World leaders met in Glasgow, Scotland, this week to try to halt global warming. But with some of the world’s biggest emitters like China and Russia skipping the conference, known as COP26, hopes dimmed that leaders will find a way to keep the world from warming more than the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius this century.

Hope Eroding as COP26 Climate Pledges Fall Short

— Burning coal is the single biggest contributor to climate change. Phasing out its use between 2030 and 2040 is one of the United Nation’s most ambitious appeals. More than 40 countries made coal-related pledges on Thursday at COP26.

COP26: Britain Hails Global Deals to End Coal but Plans New Mine

— The world’s youth have the most at stake as the planet warms, and they have been vocal advocates for change. On Friday, they took center stage during Youth and Public Empowerment Day at COP26.

‘It’s Our Lives on the Line’, Young Marchers Tell UN Climate Talks 

War crimes committed in northern Ethiopia

— The conflict between the Ethiopian federal army and Tigrayan fighters in northern Ethiopia reached the one-year milestone this week. A report written by a joint investigative team from the United Nations and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission was published Wednesday, saying all belligerents have committed atrocities during the year-long conflict.

UN Report Says Ethiopia’s War Marked by ‘Extreme Brutality’

— The U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffery Feltman, traveled to Ethiopia on Thursday, as the internal armed conflict intensified. On Tuesday, the Ethiopian federal government declared a state of emergency, saying Tigrayan fighters were advancing toward the capital, Addis Ababa.

US Envoy to Visit Ethiopia After Government Declares State of Emergency

News in brief

World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley has for months been trying to attract the attention of some of the world’s richest men on Twitter, seeking $6 billion to assist 42 million people who are “marching toward starvation” due to conflict, climate change and COVID-19. On Monday, he finally caught the attention of the world’s richest man, Tesla founder Elon Musk.

Quote of note

“We are not drowning, we are fighting. This is our warrior cry to the world.”

— Samoan climate activist Brianna Fruean, 23, of her Pacific Island peers to world leaders at the opening of COP26 on Monday. 

What we are watching next week

An international conference on Libya will be held in Paris on November 12. Libya is set to hold elections on December 24, but concerns are growing that it may not be on track to carry out a free and fair election on time.

Did you know?

The 15 members of the U.N. Security Council take turns being council president for a month at a time. Rotation is in alphabetical order. Kenya was president in October, Mexico took over Monday for November, and Niger will finish out the year in December.

To mark their presidency, Mexico donated a new sculpture now on display at U.N. headquarters in New York City.

 


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