News in Brief 11 December 2015 (AM)

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Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, High Commissioner for Human Rights. UN Photo/Rick Bajorna

Negotiations extended at UN climate conference

Negotiations on a new, universal climate deal have been extended at least through Saturday.

It was hoped agreement would be reached on Friday, but negotiators at the UN climate conference, known as COP21 in Paris, say they need more time to reach consensus on a number of important issues.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took to the podium and said he was encouraged by the progress that had been made overnight.

"By any standard, by far, this negotiation is most complicated, most difficult, but most important for humanity."

French Foreign Affairs Minister and President of COP21 Laurent Fabius also briefed the press, saying he planned to present an updated text on Saturday morning.

He went on to say that he was optimistic and added that "we are almost there".

"Deep concern" over increasing violence in Central African Republic

Ongoing inter-communal violence and the increasing use of sectarian language in the Central African Republic (CAR) have been met with "deep concern" from a top UN official.

High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein condemned "the incitement of violence and provocation" by both armed groups and political leaders in CAR.  The High Commissioner went on to warn that such actions could have dramatic consequences given the highly volatile pre-election atmosphere in the country.

The latest wave of inter-communal violence in CAR has killed at least 130 people and injured 430 since the end of September.

Alarm over recent violent attacks against human rights defenders in Viet Nam

A series of violent assaults against human rights defenders in Viet Nam has been met with alarm from the United Nations.  Human rights official are also concerned about the apparent failure of authorities to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of those attacks.

At least three attacks have taken place since September.  The latest incident happened last Sunday when a prominent lawyer and other human rights activists were beaten by a group of about 20 men armed with sticks.

The UN has urged Vietnamese authorities to take urgent steps to ensure the security of all human rights defenders and initiate investigations into previous incidents.

Veronica Reeves, United Nations.

Duration: 2’08″

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