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China holds event to mark International Day for Biological Diversity

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China holds event to mark International Day for Biological Diversity

2024-05-22 22:06 Last Updated At:23:27

⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠An event marking the International Day for Biological Diversity, held annually on May 22, was held Wednesday in Wuzhishan city, south China's Hainan Province. 

Under the banner "Be Part of the Plan", the event convened representatives from international organizations, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the European Union.

Recognizing biodiversity as the foundation of life, China has elevated its conservation to a national strategic priority. This crucial role in maintaining ecological balance, promoting scientific research, preserving cultural heritage, and ensuring human well-being necessitates continuous efforts. 

The country is continuously improving laws, regulations, and mechanisms for biodiversity protection, and taking action to vigorously enhance its ability to ensure its natural ecosystems thrive.

Official data reveals that 90 percent of terrestrial ecosystems and 74 percent of key national protected wildlife populations are now under effective protection in China.

China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment pledged a stronger leadership role in global environmental governance.

"This year marks the fourth year and also the last year for China to hold the presidency of 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. We will continue to demonstrate leadership as the chairing country, actively tell the stories of China's biodiversity conservation through multiple channels and in multiple forms, raise public awareness about biodiversity conservation and make Chinese contributions to global biodiversity protection," said Zhang Yujun, director of the Department of Nature and Ecology Conservation under the ministry. 

China holds event to mark International Day for Biological Diversity

China holds event to mark International Day for Biological Diversity

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Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

2024-06-20 02:18 Last Updated At:06:17

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war in a series of prohibited indiscriminate attacks on Gaza, according to a report issued by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office on Wednesday.

Released during the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the report details six notable attacks targeting Gaza's residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market between Oct 9 and Dec 2, 2023, which involved the suspected use of GBU-31, GBU-32 and GBU-39 bombs.

"The report details six emblematic attacks involving the suspected use of GBU-31s, or 2,000-pound bombs, GBU-32 1,000-pound bombs, and GBU-39, 250-pound bombs from the 9th of October to the 2nd of December 2023 on residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market," said Jeremy Laurence, the spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), at a press briefing in Geneva.

GBU-31, 32 and 39 bombs are mostly used to penetrate through several floors of concrete and can completely collapse tall structures. Given how densely populated the areas targeted were, the use of an explosive weapon with such wide area effects is highly likely to amount to a prohibited indiscriminate attack, the report finds.

The OHCHR has reported that at least 218 deaths have been confirmed as a direct consequence of the six attacks. However, it cautioned that the actual death toll is likely to be significantly higher.

"The report concludes that these Israeli strikes indicate that the IDF may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war. In this connection, it notes that unlawful targeting when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population, in line with a State or organizational policy, may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity," said Laurence.

The report also says that such unlawful targeting may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity.

"Israel's choices of methods and means of conducting hostilities in Gaza since the 7th of October, including through the extensive use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in densely populated areas, have failed to ensure that they effectively distinguish between civilians and fighters," said Laurence.

"It became very clear to us that the nature of weapons that were used, especially on a wide area, that have a wide area effect, is extremely dangerous in the context of Gaza, and we have been saying this, in several reports and statements, that Gaza is a very densely populated area. And in these six incidents, we had sufficient information to demonstrate, the civilian casualties, both in terms of the deaths as well as injuries, and where we felt that the principles of international humanitarian law, particularly precaution, distinction, proportionality, were not necessarily followed," said Ajith Sunghay, an official with the OHCHR in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Although the report primarily focuses on Israel, it also highlights that Palestinian armed groups have continued to fire rockets indiscriminately towards Israel, inconsistent with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

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