News in Brief 07 September 2016 (AM)

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High-Level Forum on Global Anti-Semitism. (Screen grab from UN Webcast)

Anti-Semitism "deadliest form" of hatred warns UN chief

Anti-Semitism, or the hostility against the Jewish people, is one of the world's oldest, most pervasive and deadliest forms of hatred, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned.

A High-Level Forum on Global Anti-Semitism opened on Wednesday to assess the rise of this form of prejudice around the world and share best practices for combatting it.

Despite the lessons of history and the horror of the Holocaust, Jews continue to be targeted for murder and abuse solely because they are Jews, the UN chief noted.

Such bigotry is also one of today's greatest threats, he added.

"I am appalled by those who fan the flames of religious bigotry for political gain. Such intolerance and opportunism does more than poison young minds and hearts, it poisons all of society. Time and again, history has shown that those who attack one minority today, will target another tomorrow. Discrimination does not discriminate. "

Alongside a global rise in Anti-Semitism, Mr Ban said, there is also a growing hatred and stereotyping directed at today's refugees and migrants.

US$90 million fund to help with Laos mine clearance

The US announcement of a US$90 million fund to help with mine clearance in Laos has also been welcomed by countries who've signed up to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

States Parties to the global pact announced on Wednesday in Geneva that they will strive for a world free of cluster munitions by 2030.

Presiding over the annual meeting of State signatories, Ambassador Henk Cor van der Kwast of the Netherlands said destroying stockpiles was important, but so too was decontaminating land containing unexploded ordnance:

"Clearance is a very important element of that because it affects society enormously. You have agricultural land which cannot be used because you have remnants of cluster munitions there, or you possibly have that. So it is also to make development in those countries that are affected more possible, and to make sure that we have no more victims due to those weapons."

Around the world, 24 states remain contaminated by cluster munitions, along with three unrecognised territories.

The convention entered into force in 2010 and has been ratified by 100 States Parties.

UN human rights experts arrive in South Sudan

A three-person UN-backed Commission has arrived in South Sudan to monitor and report on the situation in the country.

Yasmin Sooka, Ken Scott and Godfrey Musila were appointed by the UN Human Rights Council back in June this year for a period of one year.

They are also tasked with establishing a factual basis for transitional justice, as well as providing guidance to the South Sudanese government on the issue.

Earlier, the Commissioners had expressed "grave concern" over the ongoing attacks against civilians and allegations of rape and sexual violence against women and children.

The human rights experts are to meet with political and community leaders, refugees and internally displaced people as well as members of the international community.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 3’22″

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