United Nations news: top stories

UN rights wing ‘appalled’ at mass execution in Iraq

Fri, 15 December 2017 22:49 +0000 GMT

Expressing deep shock at a mass execution of 38 men at a prison in the Iraqi city of Nassiriya, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has called on the country to establish an immediate moratorium and carry out an urgent and comprehensive review of its criminal justice system.

‘American Dream’ quickly becoming an ‘illusion,’ says UN human rights expert

Fri, 15 December 2017 22:13 +0000 GMT

The number of Americans living in poverty and the already high income inequality could worsen further in the days to come, making the United States the most unequal society in the world, the United Nations expert on extreme poverty and human rights warned Friday.

UN rights office urges El Salvador to reform 'draconian' abortion laws

Fri, 15 December 2017 20:34 +0000 GMT

The United Nations human rights wing has called on the Latin American nation, El Salvador, to immediately halt the application of a law that unduly penalizes women for abortion-related offenses and to review all cases to ensure their compliance with international human rights standards.

Rohingya refugees face ‘multitude of protection risks,’ warns UN agency

Fri, 15 December 2017 20:15 +0000 GMT

The United Nations refugee agency said on Friday that it is concerned about the deteriorating environment in which Rohingya refugees are living, especially children, who make up 55 per cent of the Rohingya refugee population in Bangladesh.

Hostilities flare on Yemen’s west coast, sparking new displacement – UN refugee agency

Fri, 15 December 2017 17:51 +0000 GMT

As hostilities intensify in frontline areas on Yemen’s west coast, the United Nations refugee agency said Friday that it is bracing for further displacement and a spike in humanitarian needs.

Dangerous rhetoric, overconfidence, increase risk of conflict on Korean Peninsula, UN chief warns

Fri, 15 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Friday that he is deeply concerned over the risk of military confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, “including as a result of miscalculation.”

Children are the face of conflict-fuelled humanitarian tragedy in South Sudan – UNICEF

Fri, 15 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

South Sudan's children are facing a raft of daily horrors and deprivations and urgently require a peaceful, protective environment, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Friday, warning that &#8220anything less, places children and women at even greater risk of grave violations and abuse.&#8221

Protection, well-being of uprooted children must be central to new global migration compact – UNICEF

Fri, 15 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Some 50 million children are on the move worldwide, and if countries follow best practices to ensure their safety and well-being, 2018 could be a landmark year for migrant children the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Friday.

UN News Centre - Middle East

UN rights wing ‘appalled’ at mass execution in Iraq

Fri, 15 December 2017 22:49 +0000 GMT

Expressing deep shock at a mass execution of 38 men at a prison in the Iraqi city of Nassiriya, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has called on the country to establish an immediate moratorium and carry out an urgent and comprehensive review of its criminal justice system.

Hostilities flare on Yemen’s west coast, sparking new displacement – UN refugee agency

Fri, 15 December 2017 17:51 +0000 GMT

As hostilities intensify in frontline areas on Yemen’s west coast, the United Nations refugee agency said Friday that it is bracing for further displacement and a spike in humanitarian needs.

'Golden opportunity' missed for progress on intra-Syrian talks, says UN envoy

Thu, 14 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

A &#8220golden opportunity&#8221 has been missed to decide the future of Syria at the end of the latest round of United Nations-supported talks in Geneva, UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said on Thursday.

UN and partners launch $4.4 billion regional appeal for more than five million Syrian refugees

Tue, 12 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

A more than $4 billion appeal has been launched to support what one senior United Nations official called on Tuesday &#8220a lost generation&#8221 of Syrian refugees caught up in the ongoing conflict.

UN aid official in Yemen urges lifting of blockade, says millions a ‘step away from famine’

Mon, 11 December 2017 23:15 +0000 GMT

The continuing blockade of ports in Yemen must be lifted, a senior United Nations humanitarian official today urged, calling for greater access to more than eight million people on the verge of famine.

Violence shuts schools, deprives children of medical care in Syria's East Ghouta, warns UNICEF

Mon, 11 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Five of the more than 130 children who require immediate medical evacuation have died as they could not access treatment they needed due to the continuing violence across Syria's eastern Ghouta, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has reported, adding that most schools are closed there.

Gaza: UN official releases funds to enable life-saving aid programmes in enclave

Fri, 08 December 2017 15:26 +0000 GMT

A senior United Nations aid and development official in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) today released $2.2 million to support health, food and livelihood programmes in the Gaza Strip.

UN Middle East envoy warns of 'risk of violent escalation' after US decision on Jerusalem

Fri, 08 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Wednesday's decision by United States President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been widely welcomed in Israel but it has also caused much anger among Palestinians and anxiety across the Middle East and beyond, the United Nations envoy on the region's peace process told a special Security Council meeting on Friday.

UN News Centre - Africa

Children are the face of conflict-fuelled humanitarian tragedy in South Sudan – UNICEF

Fri, 15 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

South Sudan's children are facing a raft of daily horrors and deprivations and urgently require a peaceful, protective environment, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Friday, warning that &#8220anything less, places children and women at even greater risk of grave violations and abuse.&#8221

Security Council pledges support for regional push to revive South Sudan’s peace pact

Thu, 14 December 2017 23:20 +0000 GMT

As the brutal conflict in South Sudan enters its fifth year, the United Nations Security Council on Thursday said it remains deeply concerned over the situation there, and expressed strong support for a regional initiative aimed at salvaging a 2015 peace deal.

In Tanzania, UN peacekeeping chief pays tribute to ‘blue helmets’ killed in DR Congo

Thu, 14 December 2017 20:23 +0000 GMT

The head of United Nations peacekeeping operations on Thursday attended a ceremony in the port city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in honour of the country’s peacekeepers recently killed during their mission in a neighbouring country.

UN peacekeeping chief visits injured Tanzanian ‘blue helmets’ in DR Congo

Wed, 13 December 2017 17:54 +0000 GMT

The head of United Nations peacekeeping operations today thanked individually peacekeepers who fought to hold off an attack on 7 December in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

With ‘so much at stake’ in crisis-torn South Sudan, UN and partners launch $1.72 billion appeal

Wed, 13 December 2017 16:57 +0000 GMT

The United Nations relief wing and the humanitarian community in South Sudan launched on Wednesday a $1.72 billion appeal to assist six million people affected by conflict, displacement and hunger.

Unified action needed in Central Africa to defuse regional tensions, Security Council told

Wed, 13 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Despite some positive developments, the overall situation in Central Africa still requires concerted action at all levels to address sociopolitical tensions, economic difficulties and abuses by armed groups, a United Nations envoy for the region said Wednesday.

New Year could bring more misery to children in DR Congo’s restive Kasai region, warns UNICEF

Tue, 12 December 2017 16:31 +0000 GMT

In the coming year, severe acute malnutrition could claim the lives of more than 400,000 children under the age of five in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s volatile Kasai region, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned Tuesday.

ICC Prosecutor asks Security Council to act on outstanding arrest warrants

Tue, 12 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Omar Al Bashir recently travelled to countries that recognize the International Criminal Court (ICC) but none arrested or surrendered the Sudanese President, the ICC Prosecutor today told the United Nations Security Council.

UN News Centre - Europe

Armed hostilities on rise again in Ukraine, where conflict ‘never really stopped,’ says UN rights wing

Tue, 12 December 2017 22:51 +0000 GMT

An uptick in armed hostilities in Ukraine has resulted in more deaths and new damages to critical water infrastructure storing dangerous chemicals – posing a grave threat to human life and the environment, according to a new United Nations report.

Ukraine: UN and partners seek $187 million amid humanitarian crisis that is ‘worse than it’s ever been’

Thu, 07 December 2017 18:56 +0000 GMT

The humanitarian situation in war-torn eastern Ukraine is worse than ever, and people are at breaking point, the senior-most United Nations aid official in the country said on Thursday, as he launched a response plan.

‘Mission accomplished,’ president of UN tribunal for Former Yugoslavia tells Security Council

Wed, 06 December 2017 23:53 +0000 GMT

After more than 24 years of operations, the United Nations tribunal set up to prosecute crimes committed during conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s, has now completed all judicial work, the court’s President told the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

Lack of jobs, money for rent, add to woes in conflict-affected eastern Ukraine, says UN agency

Wed, 29 November 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

As temperatures plummet across eastern Ukraine, many &#8211 including the elderly &#8211 who fled their homes following hostilities are forced to return to their original place of residence due to lack of jobs and money to pay rent in the places they were sheltering, the United Nations migration agency has reported.

UN expo to highlight vital role of South-South cooperation in achieving Global Goals

Fri, 24 November 2017 22:13 +0000 GMT

A United Nations expo next week in Turkey is set to highlight the critical role of South-South cooperation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in light of the vast array of knowledge, skills, expertise and resources that is, and can further be, shared among developing countries.

Mediterranean crossing still world's deadliest for migrants – UN report

Fri, 24 November 2017 17:59 +0000 GMT

Crossing the Mediterranean to Europe is &#8220by far the world's deadliest&#8221 journey for migrants, with at least 33,761 reported to have died or gone missing between 2000 and 2017, a United Nations report finds.

UN hails conviction of Mladic, the 'epitome of evil,' as momentous victory for justice

Wed, 22 November 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Welcoming today's conviction of former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic on multiple counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes by an international tribunal, the United Nations top human rights official said that the verdict is &#8220a warning&#8221 to perpetrators of such crimes that they will be brought to justice.

Kosovo: Time for action overtakes time for excuses, UN envoy tells Security Council

Tue, 14 November 2017 21:15 +0000 GMT

Noting recent momentum to advance democracy and good governance in Kosovo, the head of the United Nations Mission there urged for more emphasis on rebuilding trust and reconciliation, including through engagement with women and the youth, as well as on overcoming challenges related to freedom of cultural and religious identity.

UN News Centre - Americas

‘American Dream’ quickly becoming an ‘illusion,’ says UN human rights expert

Fri, 15 December 2017 22:13 +0000 GMT

The number of Americans living in poverty and the already high income inequality could worsen further in the days to come, making the United States the most unequal society in the world, the United Nations expert on extreme poverty and human rights warned Friday.

UN rights office urges El Salvador to reform 'draconian' abortion laws

Fri, 15 December 2017 20:34 +0000 GMT

The United Nations human rights wing has called on the Latin American nation, El Salvador, to immediately halt the application of a law that unduly penalizes women for abortion-related offenses and to review all cases to ensure their compliance with international human rights standards.

Rohingya refugees face ‘multitude of protection risks,’ warns UN agency

Fri, 15 December 2017 20:15 +0000 GMT

The United Nations refugee agency said on Friday that it is concerned about the deteriorating environment in which Rohingya refugees are living, especially children, who make up 55 per cent of the Rohingya refugee population in Bangladesh.

UN forum sees ‘moderate’ recovery for Latin American and Caribbean economies in 2018

Thu, 14 December 2017 17:32 +0000 GMT

New economic projections for Latin America and the Caribbean show moderate recovery in 2018 and growth the following year – with favoured expansions in consumption and domestic investment, the United Nations reported Thursday.

Thousands of children need assistance three months after Caribbean hurricanes – UNICEF

Wed, 13 December 2017 18:38 +0000 GMT

Three months after two category-5 hurricanes tore through the Caribbean, thousands of children across the region still need support, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Wednesday.

UN agency helps farmers in Latin America broaden their market horizons

Wed, 13 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Improving market access, particularly beyond national borders, for family farmers and small and medium agriculture enterprises in the Latin America and Caribbean region can help boost rural development as well as spur inclusive trade, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said.

In wake of post-election protests in Honduras, UN chief urges authorities to respect rule of law

Tue, 12 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Secretary-General António Guterres today called on authorities in Honduras to uphold the rule of law and respect for human rights following the presidential election.

Migration compact must balance regional, global realities, says UN envoy

Fri, 01 December 2017 23:12 +0000 GMT

A Global Compact on migration has to be “truly global” but it also has to take into account the regional specificities given the very diverse nature of the phenomenon, a senior United Nations official on international migration has said.

UN News Centre - Asia Pacific

Dangerous rhetoric, overconfidence, increase risk of conflict on Korean Peninsula, UN chief warns

Fri, 15 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Friday that he is deeply concerned over the risk of military confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, “including as a result of miscalculation.”

UN chief stresses need to denuclearize Korean Peninsula, avoid ‘sleepwalking into war’

Fri, 15 December 2017 00:03 +0000 GMT

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres wrapped up a short visit to Tokyo on Thursday with an appeal to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and other countries to implement relevant Security Council resolutions to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

Myanmar can draw on UN expertise in tackling Rohingya returns, Security Council told

Tue, 12 December 2017 23:11 +0000 GMT

The United Nations can help Myanmar to defuse inter-communal tensions and create an environment for safe and dignified repatriation of Rohingya refugees, the Organization’s top political official said Tuesday, stressing that the country could also tap the UN’s capacities and experience in tackling other challenges, including democratic consolidation.

UN stepping up support to diphtheria vaccination campaign for Rohingya children in Bangladesh

Tue, 12 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

A United Nations-backed campaign to immunize Rohingya children against diphtheria began on Tuesday in Bangladesh, following an outbreak that has resulted in nine deaths in the camps and makeshift settlements hosting these refugees from Myanmar.

Security tensions may have deepened rights violations in DPRK, Security Council told

Mon, 11 December 2017 19:45 +0000 GMT

People’s rights are reportedly violated in “almost every aspect” of their lives in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United Nations human rights chief warned Monday, stressing that security tensions on the Korean Peninsula should not negate concerns about the situation of ordinary people there.

Peaceful conduct of elections 'historic moment' for Nepal, says UN chief

Sat, 09 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the holding of the two-phased State and Federal elections in Nepal and congratulated its people for the peaceful conduct of the polls.

UN political chief, DPRK officials agree Korean Peninsula faces 'most tense and dangerous' situation

Sat, 09 December 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

In their meetings this week, the United Nations political chief and senior officials of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) shared the view that the Korean Peninsula faces the most tense and dangerous peace and security situation in the world.

FEATURE: Seizing on global trend, Afghan women reporters empower voices against violence

Thu, 07 December 2017 22:11 +0000 GMT

In a year when the #metoo hashtag has inspired women across the globe to tell their personal tales of harassment and unwanted sexual advances in the workplace, a team of female television reporters in northern Afghanistan is promising to “leave no sister behind” by telling the often harrowing stories of Afghan women and girls trapped by abuse and gender-based violence.