World news in brief: Doha talks on Afghanistan, human rights in Belarus, Rohingya refugees in India, global trade on the rise

“This morning, we heard from members of Afghan civil society, women and men, who provided us – the special envoys and the United Nations – with valuable insights on the rights of women and minorities in the country, girls’ education, the media, business and many other issues,” said Rosemary DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. tell the press in Doha, speaking at the Third Meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan.

“They shared their views and perspectives on the Doha process, as well as on engagement between Afghanistan and the international community in general… our discussions were extremely important and useful,” she added.

The ongoing talks in Doha are the first time the Taliban government has attended the discussions. They did not participate in the first and second rounds, held in May 2023 And February 2024.

The consultations build on recommendations set out in an independent assessment of an integrated and coherent approach by Feridun Sinirlioğlusuitable for Security Council Resolution 2679.

Dialogue built on honesty

Ms. DiCarlo emphasized that this is still just the beginning of the process and will take time and patience.

She added that there was a need to build trust on all sides, stressing that dialogue must be built on honesty and principles – that is uncharted and various human rights treaties to which Afghanistan is a party.

However, she said the main goal remains to help all Afghans.

Responding to a question about whether she thought human rights and civil rights were an internal matter in Afghanistan, Ms. DiCarlo stressed that she had made it clear during the negotiations that Afghanistan had signed a number of international treaties and agreements focusing on human rights and civil rights, and Afghanistan, as a country, had to abide by these agreements, so this was not an internal matter.

Human rights experts call on Belarus to pardon elderly prisoners

Independent UN human rights experts call on Belarusian authorities pardon or commutation of sentence for the elderly detained on political charges.

In a news release, experts – including Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus – said it had received a list of 63 people over the age of 60, including 15 women, jailed for “actual or suspected political opposition”.

Most are serving sentences of up to 25 years, some are in pretrial detention, and others face involuntary psychiatric care. Some incarcerated people have chronic illnesses, acute illnesses, or disabilities.

“According to multiple sources, the prisoners listed are subject to various forms of mistreatment, including solitary confinement and lack of timely and adequate medical care, as well as restrictions on correspondence and remittances,” the experts said.

Last month, the Belarusian parliament proposed an amnesty for people of retirement age, but it would not apply to prisoners convicted of crimes such as seriously violating public order, harming national security, defaming the president or discrediting Belarus.

“These measures are often misused for politically motivated prosecutions,” the experts note.

They also pointed out the incompatibility of Belarus’ anti-terrorism and extremism laws with international human rights law and reiterated their call on Belarus to comply with its international obligations and release all those wrongfully convicted for exercising their human rights.

Appointed by Geneva headquarters Dong Nhan Quy Association and form part of it Special ProceduresSpecial Rapporteurs are tasked with monitoring and reporting on thematic or country-specific human rights situations. They are not United Nations staff and are unpaid.

Human Rights Commission calls on India to stop detaining Rohingya refugees

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Call on India End the arbitrary mass detention of Rohingya refugees and avoid deportation and return to Myanmar, where they could face serious human rights violations and abuses.

The committee said it was “concerned by reports of mass arbitrary detention of Rohingya, including children, in inadequate conditions and in some cases without due process or access to legal representation”.

The report expressed concern over reports of “several cases of forced deportation and return to Myanmar during 2018-2022 as well as the continued risk of deportation of remaining Rohingya in India, in violation of the principle of no return”.

The report also calls on India to end the mass arbitrary detention of Rohingya and only use immigration detention as a measure of last resort – for the shortest possible period – and to provide detained Rohingya with legal protections and access to legal counsel.

The committee also called on India to “end racial discrimination against the Rohingya and remove restrictions that prevent them from enjoying their rights without discrimination, particularly with regard to access to employment, health and education, in particular by ensuring the issuance of long-term visas and other identification documents”.

The Committee is a body made up of 18 independent experts monitor implementation Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by its member states.

The members of this organization are elected by the States Parties to the Convention and serve in their personal capacity, independent of the United Nations and of their governments.

Global trade to increase by early 2024, adding $350 billion in goods and services

Global trade trends turned positive in the first quarter of 2024, with the value of merchandise trade increasing by about 1 percent quarter-on-quarter and services increasing by about 1.5 percent, the United Nations trade and development agency (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)) reported.

The increase was driven by positive trade dynamics for the United States and developing countries, especially the major developing economies of Asia, according to UNCTAD. Global Trade Update July 2024.

“This is expected to add about $250 billion to goods trade and $100 billion to services trade in the first half of 2024 compared to the second half of 2023,” the report said.

UNCTAD also reported that global forecasts for gross domestic product (GDP) growth remain at around 3% for 2024, “with the near-term trade outlook remaining cautiously optimistic.”

“If the positive trend continues, global trade could reach nearly $32 trillion in 2024, but is unlikely to surpass the record level reached in 2022,” the report added.

Challenges remain

The report also raises concerns about the impact of geopolitical and policy challenges.

Despite these positive trends, UNCTAD said “the outlook for 2024 is clouded by potential geopolitical issues and the impact of industrial policy”.

Geopolitical tensions, rising shipping costs and emerging industrial policies could reshape global trade patterns, the report added, warning that increasing focus on domestic industries and trade restrictions could hamper international trade growth.


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