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World News in Brief: Engagement with Sudan, Red Sea vessel attacks, SDGs disabilities promise

UN engagement with Sudan will continue in the wake of the decision to terminate its political mission in the country, the Spokesperson for Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement.

On Friday, the Security Council adopted a resolution to close the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) following a request last month from the authorities.

UNITAMS was established in June 2020 to provide support to Sudan for an initial 12-month period during its transition to democratic rule following the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir, who had been in power for 30 years.

Sudan’s military Government, whose forces have been battling the RSF militia for control of the country since mid-April, has said that the UN mission was failing to meet expectations.

Concern for civilians

The Secretary-General has taken note of the Council resolution, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement issued on Friday evening.

He added that the UN Country Team in Sudan will continue its essential work there, including providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance.

“The Secretary-General remains deeply concerned about the escalating conflict in the Sudan and its devastating impact on civilians and will continue to engage with all Sudanese stakeholders in support of the aspirations of the Sudanese people for a peaceful and secure future,” the statement continued.

“He reiterates his call to the warring parties to reach an agreement on an immediate ceasefire and engage in discussions to achieve a permanent cessation of hostilities.

Security Council condemns attacks on vessels in the Red Sea

The Security Council has condemned in the strongest terms recent attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen against a commercial vessel in the Red Sea, which are occurring against the backdrop of the conflict in Gaza.

The 15 members also recalled ongoing threats and previous attacks against oil terminals under the control of the Government of Yemen.  

They issued a statement on Friday demanding “that such attacks and action cease immediately.”

The Council also called for the immediate release of the MV Galaxy Leader and its crew. 

The cargo ship, which was hijacked on 19 November, is reportedly owned by an Israeli businessman and operated by Japan, according to international media.

Members underlined the importance of the navigational rights and freedoms of all vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea, in accordance with international law.

They also stressed the importance of enhancing international and regional cooperation to counter threats to peace and security in the region.

A disabled student on a sports court in Brazil.
© UNICEF Brazil
A disabled student on a sports court in Brazil.

Persons with disabilities face discrimination despite SDG promise: Guterres

Persons with disabilities must be at the decision-making table and across countries’ efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - from poverty eradication, to health, education, and climate action.

That’s the message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, observed on 3 December.

The 17 SDGs were adopted by world leaders in 2015 and have a 2030 deadline.

Mr. Guterres said achieving the goals requires living up to the promise to leave no one behind, especially the 1.3 billion persons with disabilities worldwide. 

However, they continue to face systemic discrimination and barriers that restrict their meaningful inclusion in all areas of society. 

“Truly sustainable development for persons with disabilities requires a laser-like focus on their needs and rights — not only as beneficiaries, but as active contributors across social, economic and political life,” he said.

The UN chief urged everyone “to work side-by-side with persons with disabilities to design and deliver solutions based on equal rights in every country and community.”