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World News in Brief: Karabakh exodus continues, indigenous rights, UN steps up bid to curb food waste

Mr. Grandi stressed that UN refugee agency (UNHCR) convoys with more relief supplies are on the way. 

“We are ready to mobilize additional resources to support the humanitarian efforts of the Government and people of Armenia,” he said.

UNHCR said earlier this week that most of those streaming across are vulnerable, including mainly older people, women and children, and that they require urgent emergency assistance.

UNHCR and UN partners, along with the office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia, have been supporting the Government’s response to the influx of people, as needs keep rising.

UN chief António Guterres has also expressed his concern about the emergency. His spokesperson told reporters that it was essential that the rights of the displaced populations were protected and that they should receive the humanitarian support they need.

Indigenous Peoples’ rights must be central to green investments

“Green” finance investments on Indigenous Peoples’ land must rely on their participation and use a human rights-based approach.

That’s the message from the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, Francisco Cali-Tzay, who warned on Thursday that the shift to green finance should not create more problems for native communities already impacted negatively by fossil-fuel related projects.

Briefing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, he said their scientific knowledge “is critical to solving the biodiversity loss and climate change crises.”

“Ensuring their participation and consent for projects affecting their lands is the obligation of States under international law. Business corporations and financial actors have similar responsibilities and obligations”. 

The independent rights expert reminded the Council that “the most biodiverse and best-preserved lands, forests and shores on this planet are those…stewarded by Indigenous Peoples”.

He stressed that green investments could be a chance for Indigenous Peoples to obtain funding to preserve their lands, knowledge and distinct ways of life, and to “create economic opportunities that may help them to maintain and strengthen their indigenous identity”.

The Special Rapporteur also said that he was concerned by increasing reports that conservation and climate-oriented projects and programmes rarely include protections for the fundamental rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

“Financial decision-makers have a crucial role in preventing this, by demanding social and environmental safeguards and effective due diligence protocols to ensure Indigenous Peoples’ participation before approving investments for green projects or programmes,” he insisted.

Collective efforts needed to stop wasting food while millions go hungry

A staggering one billion tonnes of food are wasted every year, while up to 783 million people around the world are facing hunger.

Ahead of the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction on Friday, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) are sounding the alarm over losses amounting to 13 per cent of the world’s food in the supply chain before products even hit the shelves, and a further 17 per cent lost in households and retail.

The agencies said that stopping food loss and waste boosts food security, saves resources and helps reduce our carbon footprint. 

They called for urgent action from the public and private sector as well as consumers to save and preserve food and set out concrete steps for all stakeholders in a joint guide, insisting that “our collective efforts can make a difference”.

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