When the UN General Assembly begins in mid- September every year, chances are more than 150 world leaders gather under one roof triggering security nightmares and turning the neighborhood into a veritable war zone, including road closures, deployment of metal detectors, concrete barriers to prevent unauthorized traffic and baggage and pat-down screenings.
“Before I travelled to Libya, I was into phone sales and repairs and palm oil production, but I left my business to migrate due to challenges like power outages,” said Onyekachi as she stood in a room full of fellow returnees. “With this training, my dream will come true because I have been grouped into an agriculture-based business.”
IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has responded to the urgent humanitarian needs of hundreds of displaced Libyans and migrants affected by violence, following armed clashes in the Libyan capital.
Following the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in 2016, United Nations Member States, for the first time in their history, committed to develop, negotiate and adopt a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).
“When an acquaintance told me there might be work for me in Austria, I jumped at the opportunity. She told me how good Austria was so I figured I would just get there, find work and settle in. They told me the journey was easy so I decided to give it a go.”
IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 67,122 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 26 August, with 27,994 to Spain, the leading destination this year. This compares with 123,205 (172,362 for the entire year) arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 272,612 at this point in 2016.
has long been an important mechanism for refugee protection, and one that promotes international solidarity and durable solutions. In recent years and against a background of large-scale global displacement, the potential of resettlement to provide solutions for the worsening global refugee situation has been debated.
One year into a crisis that has seen over 700,000 refugees escape violence in Myanmar by fleeing into Bangladesh, the Rohingya once more stand on the verge of another disaster if more funding for the humanitarian response cannot be secured.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and the Director General of the United Nations Migration Agency, IOM, William Lacy Swing appealed for greater support from the international community to the countries and communities in the region receiving a growing number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela. With an estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans living abroad, more than 1.6 million have left the country since 2015, 90 per cent of them to countries within South America.
Concrete replaces hand-dug mud steps zigzagging down steep hillsides. Sturdy bridges stretch over marshes, and a main road carves a bumpy path through once inaccessible zones. The mega-camp that sprawls across 6,000 acres of Bangladesh’s Ukhia region has changed greatly in the year since it became home to 700,000 additional Rohingya refugees fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
Responding to the news that human rights defender Tep Vanny has been released from prison following a royal pardon after more than 700 days in detention, Minar Pimple, Amnesty International’s Senior Director of Global Operations, said:
“After more than two years of being unjustly detained for her peaceful activism, the news that Tep Vanny is once again reunited with her family is a cause for great celebration.
A major environmental project to provide around 250,000 families with liquid petroleum gas (LPG) stoves and gas cylinders has been launched by UN agencies and the government in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, to help prevent further deforestation linked to the Rohingya refugee crisis.
The mighty Congo River both connects Kinshasa with Equateur Province where an Ebola epidemic began in May 2018 and separates the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from Congo-Brazzaville, hidden in the haze on the other bank.
A rare closed-door meeting between the United States and North Korea was described as a major breakthrough—the first time in nearly two decades.
When Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein arrived for his arraignment on charges of sexual abuse, there were hordes of photographers and reporters waiting for him outside the New York Supreme Court.
The one-year anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March in Washington was commemorated in mid-town Manhattan yesterday where thousands of demonstrators marched through the streets of New York protesting the policies of the Trump administration—focusing specifically on gender empowerment, women’s rights, diversity, migrants, people of color, and gay and lesbian rights, in what is described as an increasingly polarized American society.
A major fire, fueled by strong winds on a frigid night, killed at least 12 people in a Bronx building, inhabited mostly with migrants from West Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America.
A Bangladesh immigrant, 27 year-old Akayed Ullah, set off a pipe bomb strapped to his body in a crowded passageway at a Times Square subway station yesterday. The explosive failed to detonate but burnt him and injured three others causing panic during the morning rush hour in the heart of the city.
With an estimated two million people lining up the streets, the annual New York City Marathon ended on a predictable note: the Africans dominated one of the most popular events testing the endurance of over 50,000 athletes from more than 125 countries in a 26.2 mile run through the city’s five boroughs---- Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan.
President Donald Trump’s appearance before the UN General Assembly next week will be accompanied by tight security measures by local and federal law enforcement agencies, including the New York Police Department (NYPD), the US Secret Service and UN Security.
[pullquote]3[/pullquote]The 72nd session of the General Assembly, which will be attended by over 150 world leaders, will be a “first” both for Trump and for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, a former Prime Minister of Portugal, who took office in January 2017.
The security measures will include road closures, rooftop snipers and heavy concrete barriers to thwart the entry of any vehicles that could be used in terrorist attacks. The UN will be in a lock down mode – and will continue to be so until all of the world leaders leave town by end September.
According to the NYPD, thousands of police officers will be deployed outside the UN perimeter—and residents in the neighborhood will be checked and double-checked before they are permitted to cross from Second to First Avenue. So will UN delegates, staffers and journalist, even with valid UN passes.
All UN retirees, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and visitors, however, will be banned from the UN neighborhood even if they are armed with passes. And the UN precincts will be a restricted security zone.
The Police is also expecting anti-Trump protestors in the city—along with a march to combat “white supremacy” that will begin outside the Grand Central Terminal.
A left-wing group Code Pink has organized a march to protest Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Among other planned protests will be a rally against Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, mostly by Iranian dissidents in the US.
With the rise in terrorist attacks in Europe, the Muslim community in New York City is fast becoming the centre of attention in the US presidential campaign currently underway.