January 24, 2022 2:26 pm

The ICC investigates Venezuela, elections in Nicaragua, COP26 … Thursday’s news

The International Criminal Court opens a formal investigation into crimes against humanity in Venezuela

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has decided to open an investigation into the alleged crimes committed in Venezuela since 2017, in the context of demonstrations and political unrest.

Prosecutor Karim AA Khan announced the opening of the investigation from Caracas, where he signed a letter of understanding with the Government “to actively collaborate”, “despite” differences of opinion on this issue.

According to that memorandum “no suspect or target has been identified” yet and “the investigation aims to establish the truth and whether or not there are grounds to accuse someone.”

“We respect your decision as a State, although we have told you that we do not share it.. And within this framework we have signed an agreement that guarantees, now and effectively, cooperation, positive complementarity, mutual support and constructive dialogue to seek truth and justice between the Venezuelan State and its institutions and the prosecution of the International Criminal Court, ”said the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.

The prosecutor was “really pleased” by the commitment to collaboration and said he was aware of the political “dividing lines” and the “geopolitical divisions.” “We are not politicians. We are guided by the principles of legality and the rule of law. I ask everyone now, as we move forward, to give my office the necessary space to do its work in this new phase, ”he said.

The opening of the formal investigation concludes the preliminary examination which was opened in 2018 to analyze the complaints that “the State security forces made frequent use of excessive force to disperse and suppress the demonstrations, and arrested and detained thousands of real or supposed members of the opposition, several of who have been subjected to serious abuse and mistreatment during their detention, ”says the Court’s documentation.

In 2020, the prosecution concluded that there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed since at least April 2017 and the formal investigation has now been announced.

The IACHR and the UN condemn the lack of guarantees regarding the elections in Nicaragua

FAO / Saul Palma

View of Managua, the capital of Nicaragua

Three days before the November 7 elections in Nicaragua, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the UN Human Rights regional office condemn the lack of guarantees in the electoral process and reiterate their call to the Government to restore the conditions that lead to free and fair elections

In a joint statement, they point out that it is “imperative” to eliminate obstacles to full participation in the electoral process.

The organizations denounce “The intensification of repression”In the framework of the electoral process.

Both organizations denounce that the cancellation of three political parties, the arbitrary detention of seven presidential candidates -and more than 30 social and political leaders-, together with the disqualification of a vice-president candidate, have “eliminated the political pluralism that the Government was obliged to guarantee ”.

They assure that “it is essential “that the Government reestablish the rule of law, release all those arbitrarily detained, and cease attacks against individuals and organizations considered to be opponents of the government, the media, and civil society.

At COP26, more than 40 countries commit to stop financing coal

A worker fills a boiler with coal at a tobacco production company in Malawi

ILO / Marcel Crozet

A worker fills a boiler with coal at a tobacco production company in Malawi

At COP 26, Chile, Poland, Vietnam and 43 other countries have signed a declaration committing to end investments in coal, to phase out this type of energy by the 2030s in the main economies, and in the 2040s in the rest.

The declaration has 77 signatories, including 46 countries, 23 of which are committed to ending coal for the first time.

I think the end of coal is in sight. I think we are reaching a point where coal power goes down in history, “said conference chair Alok Sharma.

However, the largest coal funders China, Japan and South Korea have not signed the document, although they have pledged to stop funding overseas coal generation by the end of 2021.

COVID-19 cases and deaths rise again and Europe is once again the epicenter of the pandemic

Moldova was the first European country to receive COVID19 vaccines through COVAX.

ONU Moldavia

Moldova was the first European country to receive COVID19 vaccines through COVAX.

The cases of COVID-19 in the world are rising again and Europe is once again the epicenter of the pandemic and is at a “critical point”, says the World Health Organization.

In the last four weeks, Europe has seen an increase of more than 55% in new cases of COVID-19. The Organization highlighted as more worrying the “rapid” increase in infections in the elderly, and that 75% of deaths are of people over 65 years of age.

In addition, the percentage of hospital admissions has doubled in the last week.

Despite the near-record number of COVID-19 cases, deaths are roughly half their peak levels a year ago. This reflects the effects of vaccination. In Europe and Central Asia, one billion doses have been administered, but the coverage is very uneven. Average, 47% of the population has the complete patternHowever, while eight countries have already exceeded 70% coverage, in two the rate is still below 10%. Where vaccine uptake is low – in many Baltic countries, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Balkans – hospital admission rates are high.

Around the world, last week 56 countries from all regions reported an increase in the number of deaths higher than 10%, informed the director general of the WHO in the weekly press conference. Dr. Tedros said it is something that “should not be happening” because we have the tools to prevent it. “No more COVID-19 vaccines should go to countries that have already vaccinated more than 40% of their population, until COVAX has the vaccines it needs to help other countries get it as well,” he said.

Reference-news.un.org

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