On behalf of the 26 resident and non-resident United Nations agencies, funds and programmes working in Bhutan, the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Gerald Daly, extended its support to the national COVID-19 preparedness and response and other immediate assistance.
The UN, this morning, extended its support of USD 1.14 million (approximately Nu 80.5 million) to the Honorable Prime Minister, Lyonchen Dr. Lotay Tshering.
To meet the immediate needs of the quarantine facilities across the country, the UN made a modest contribution of USD 50,000 (approximately Nu 3.5 million).
Three UN agencies have also managed to access their agency emergency funds, through which USD 1.09 million (approximately Nu 77 million) has been mobilized, some of which have already been transferred to the RGoB while some are underway. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has received USD 450,000 from the Government of Japan and USD 100,000 from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to support the Government’s COVID-19 response with a focus on children and adolescents as well as to procure, deliver and distribute medical equipment for the Ministry of Health;; World Health Organization (WHO) mobilized USD 244,500; and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) mobilized USD 300,000.
The UN Resident Coordinator said : “We need to cut through the red tape as much as possible while remaining effective and accountable. We are in an unprecedented situation and it can no longer be business as usual. Like the rest of the world, we in Bhutan are facing the potential for devastating impacts from the virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, we do have a small window to get ahead of it. These are challenging times, on behalf of the UN, I would like to commend the Royal Government for the hard work and results being achieved towards the COVID-19 preparedness and response plans and action.”
Photo Courtesy: Prime Minister’s Office – PMO, Bhutan
Given that the protection of children and educational facilities is important, it is necessary to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 in school settings. However, care must also be taken to avoid stigmatizing students and staff who may have been exposed to the virus.
COVID-19 does not differentiate among borders, ethnicities, disability status, age or gender. Education settings should continue to be welcoming, respectful, inclusive and supportive environments to all.
Measures taken by schools can prevent the entry and spread of COVID-19 by students and staff who may have been exposed to the virus, while minimizing disruption and protecting students and staff from discrimination.
UNICEF, WHO and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have developed guidance to provide clear and actionable guidance for safe operations through the prevention, early detection and control of COVID-19 in schools and other educational facilities.
To download the report please visit: https://uni.cf/33d3hSZ
Experts say judgment is ‘tipping point’ that opens the door to climate crisis claims for protection
It is unlawful for governments to return people to countries where their lives might be threatened by the climate crisis, a landmark ruling by the United Nations human rights committee has found.
The judgment – which is the first of its kind – represents a legal “tipping point” and a moment that “opens the doorway” to future protection claims for people whose lives and wellbeing have been threatened due to global heating, experts say.
Tens of millions of people are expected to be displaced by global heating in the next decade.
The committee heard evidence of overcrowding on the island of South Tarawa, where Teitiota lived, saying that the population there had increased from 1,641 in 1947 to 50,000 in 2010 due to sea level rising leading to other islands becoming uninhabitable, which had led to violence and social tensions.
He also spoke of the lack of fresh water and difficulty growing crops due to salinity of the water table causing serious health issues for his family. He said that as Kiribati was predicted to be uninhabitable in 10 to 15 years, his life was endangered by remaining there.
The New Zealand courts rejected Teitiota’s claim for protection. The UN human rights committee upheld New Zealand’s decision on the grounds that while “sea level rise is likely to render the republic of Kiribati uninhabitable … the timeframe of 10 to 15 years, as suggested by [Teitiota], could allow for intervening acts by the republic of Kiribati, with the assistance of the international community, to take affirmative measures to protect and, where necessary, relocate its population”.
However experts say the committee’s ruling opens the way for other claims based on the threat to life posed by the climate crisis. The committee ruled that “the effects of climate change in receiving states may expose individuals to a violation of their rights … thereby triggering the non-refoulement obligations of sending states”.
“On a personal level for Ioane and his family it is bad news, because obviously it’s decided that his claim that his right to life was threatened in Kiribati wasn’t strong enough,” said Kate Schuetze, Pacific researcher for Amnesty International. “But they said it wasn’t strong enough based on his personal circumstances and the evidence they put before the court and then they made some very strong statements clarifying the roles and responsibilities of states to say … there would be a trigger of international responsibility for other governments not to return people to places where their life is at risk because of climate-induced changes.”
While the judgment is not formally binding on countries, it points to legal obligations that countries have under international law.
“What’s really important here, and why it’s quite a landmark case, is that the committee recognised that without robust action on climate at some point in the future it could well be that governments will, under international human rights law, be prohibited from sending people to places where their life is at risk or where they would face inhuman or degrading treatment,” said Prof Jane McAdam, director of the Kaldor centre for international refugee law at the University of New South Wales.
“Even though in this particular case there was no violation found, it effectively put governments on notice.
“There have been cases brought in Australia and New Zealand since the mid-1990s about environmental harm and climate change and to date they’ve all been unsuccessful … But now we’ve got a very clear, legal authoritative statement now that it’s almost like: watch this space.”
Schuetze said there were roughly a dozen cases in the New Zealand court system similar to Teitiota’s, with people, mostly from Tuvalu and Kiribati, claiming the impacts of the climate crisis affected their right to life.
“The Pacific Islands will be the canary in the coalmines for climate-induced migrants,” said Schuetze.
“The message in this case is clear: Pacific Island states don’t need to be underwater before triggering those human rights obligations … I think we will see those cases start to emerge.”
Two of the 18 members of the committee issued dissenting opinions on the case, saying they did not agree with the conclusion that New Zealand was justified in removing Teitiota to Kiribati, with one writing that just because “deaths are not occurring with regularity on account of the conditions … it should not mean that the threshold had been reached”.
“The fact that this [difficulty growing crops and accessing safe drinking water] is a reality for many others in the country, does not make it any more dignified for the persons living in such conditions. New Zealand’s action is more like forcing a drowning person back into a sinking vessel, with the ‘justification’ that after all there are other voyagers on board.”
Source: The Guardian
We’ve seen remarkable progress—extreme poverty and child mortality rates are falling and access to energy, education and decent work is rising. But we are far from the world we want.
The Decade of Action aims to spark an unstoppable force to reach the #GlobalGoals.
✅ Let’s mobilize everyone, everywhere to take action
✅ Let’s demand urgency and ambition
✅ Let’s supercharge ideas to solutions
Let’s make the 20s a #GlobalGoals Decade of Action!
The Resident Coordinator of UN Bhutan, Gerald Daly said, “based on past experiences, we need the primary failure of the capital markets in relation to sustainable development as one of misallocation of capital. In the words of the UN Secretary General, “the world has the resources to deliver, but they are not allocated where they are most needed,” at the National Workshop on Capital Market Development in Bhutan, organized by UNESCAP in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance.
As part of ESCAP’s technical assistance to Bhutan, this national workshop aims to engage with the Ministry of Finance, various Government agencies, and key stakeholders to help facilitate the issuance of Bhutan’s first sovereign bonds. It will emphasize experiential learning and exchange of information with experts, institutional investors, and private sector investors.
To observe World AIDS Day, a storytelling session on the theme “My Story: Living Life with HIV,” is currently ongoing at Samtse. This side-event is organized by the UN in Bhutan in collaboration with Lhak Sam and Rainbow Bhutan: “Celebrating Diversity” and supported by UNAIDS.
The main objective of this event is to share stories of courage to inspire not only people living with HIV but everyone to work as a community to make a difference in the AIDS response.
Opening the event, the Health Minister, Lyonpo Dechen Wangmo, on the two new people living with HIV who went public today said, “their life is going to be different from today. Unless we work together, we will never achieve our aspirations. If we understand their problems and find solutions. The magnitude of an epidemic like this is more dangerous for a small society.”
“Communities around the world are at the heart of this response―helping people to claim their rights, promoting access to stigma-free health and social services, ensuring that services reach the most vulnerable and marginalized, and pressing to change laws that discriminate. As the theme of this year’s observance rightly highlights, communities make the difference.”- UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres:
Breaking the silence is the FIRST step to transforming the culture of gender-based violence. It’s time to SPEAK UP and BREAK the cycle of ABUSE!
Rape, a single word with devastating impact that spans decades, even generations. It destroys bodies and minds and puts peace in jeopardy. When left unpunished or trivialized, it creates a pervasive culture where sexual violence is normalized, women and girls are undervalued, and entire communities and nations are left fractured.
The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign will mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, from 25 November to 10 December, under the theme, “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape”. Join us in galvanizing actions around the world to take a stand against sexual violence in all contexts and spark a global conversation about what it will take to prevent and end rape.