United Nations news: top stories

Central African Republic’s message to UN: ‘The only thing we want is peace’

Mon, 23 October 2017 22:48 +0000 GMT

It was once known as the ‘Bridge of Death,’ the frontline between warring factions in the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). Legendary tales were shared of the bridge being drenched in blood, with even Government security forces scared to set foot on it.

Famine can be a war crime and should be prosecuted, says independent UN rights expert

Mon, 23 October 2017 20:57 +0000 GMT

Famine can constitute a war crime or crime against humanity, an independent United Nations human rights expert today said, noting that more civilians die from hunger and disease related to conflicts than in direct combat.

Three multinationals join UN global network on disability inclusion

Mon, 23 October 2017 20:08 +0000 GMT

Three multinational enterprises – Capgemini, Legrand and the Savola Group – today became the latest members of a United Nations global network that promotes equal opportunities for persons with disabilities in the workplace.

Road accidents in Africa among deadliest worldwide, UN official says, urging more action

Mon, 23 October 2017 19:26 +0000 GMT

Some 650 people are killed each day in road accidents throughout Africa, a senior United Nations official today said, calling for more to be done to keep drivers – as well as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists – safe.

Rohingya crisis: Donors pledge $344 million at UN-backed conference to support aid efforts

Mon, 23 October 2017 19:12 +0000 GMT

A United Nations-supported humanitarian conference today raised more than $344 million to fund critical relief programmes for Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh.

Wildlife conservation, sustainable development in spotlight at UN-backed conference

Mon, 23 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Unless the international community integrates wildlife conservation with sustainable development, it will not be able to protect the remaining animal species on Earth, the head of a United Nations-backed environmental treaty today said at the opening of a wildlife conference in the Philippines.

UN, African Union pledge to help Kenya ensure credible rerun of presidential poll

Mon, 23 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The heads of the United Nations and the African Union have expressed their organizations' commitment to assist Kenya in ensuring a credible and transparent process in the forthcoming rerun of the recent presidential election.

UN Security Council strongly condemns terrorist attack in Egypt

Sat, 21 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Condemning &#8220in the strongest terms&#8221 the terrorist attack that took place Friday in Egypt's El Wahat desert, the United Nations Security Council underlined the need to bring the perpetrators and sponsors of such &#8220reprehensible acts&#8221 to justice.

UN News Centre - Middle East

UN rights experts urge Iran to immediately release British-Iranian citizen after fresh charges

Fri, 20 October 2017 21:46 +0000 GMT

United Nations human rights experts have appealed to Iran to immediately release a jailed British-Iranian citizen, who is now facing fresh charges, and expressed “grave” concerns for her welfare.

Watchful of the situation in Raqqa, Syria, UN chief urges need to revive political process

Thu, 19 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is urging all sides involved in the fight for Raqqa, Syria, to protect civilians, abide with international law, and allow humanitarian access to those in need.

Iraq: Security Council voices concern over reported violence in Kirkuk

Wed, 18 October 2017 22:37 +0000 GMT

The Security Council on Wednesday expressed concern over recent reports of violence near the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq.

With ‘cautious optimism,’ UN political official reports positive developments on Middle East peace

Wed, 18 October 2017 21:31 +0000 GMT

A senior United Nations political affairs official on Wednesday highlighted at the Security Council some positive developments on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, particulalry on intra-Palestinian reconciliation efforts.

Iran: UN rights experts urge country to halt imminent execution of juvenile Amirhossein Pourjafar

Wed, 18 October 2017 19:08 +0000 GMT

United Nations human rights experts on Wednesday urgently appealed to Iran to halt tomorrow’s execution of Amirhossein Pourjafar, who was sentenced to death when he was 16 years old.

Yemen: UNICEF warns conflict shutters one in 10 schools; teachers unpaid for a year

Wed, 18 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The conflict in Yemen &#8211 now into its third year &#8211 continues to take a toll on millions of children, with their education now under threat, adding to an already long list of bitter hardships including malnutrition, displacement and violence, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned.

UN envoy discusses implementation of intra-Palestinian agreement with Prime Minister Hamdallah

Mon, 16 October 2017 18:39 +0000 GMT

Meeting the Palestinian Prime Minister today, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, and discussed the implementation of the intra-Palestinian agreement signed in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on 12 October.

Civilians who fled Mosul still vulnerable, need assistance – UN official

Fri, 13 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

One year since the start of the military campaign to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) terrorist group, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator said hundreds of thousands of people are vulnerable and still need assistance.

UN News Centre - Africa

Central African Republic’s message to UN: ‘The only thing we want is peace’

Mon, 23 October 2017 22:48 +0000 GMT

It was once known as the ‘Bridge of Death,’ the frontline between warring factions in the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). Legendary tales were shared of the bridge being drenched in blood, with even Government security forces scared to set foot on it.

Road accidents in Africa among deadliest worldwide, UN official says, urging more action

Mon, 23 October 2017 19:26 +0000 GMT

Some 650 people are killed each day in road accidents throughout Africa, a senior United Nations official today said, calling for more to be done to keep drivers – as well as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists – safe.

UN, African Union pledge to help Kenya ensure credible rerun of presidential poll

Mon, 23 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The heads of the United Nations and the African Union have expressed their organizations' commitment to assist Kenya in ensuring a credible and transparent process in the forthcoming rerun of the recent presidential election.

UN Security Council strongly condemns terrorist attack in Egypt

Sat, 21 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Condemning &#8220in the strongest terms&#8221 the terrorist attack that took place Friday in Egypt's El Wahat desert, the United Nations Security Council underlined the need to bring the perpetrators and sponsors of such &#8220reprehensible acts&#8221 to justice.

Closing UN’s ‘Africa Week,’ Assembly President says continent’s vision getting close to reality

Fri, 20 October 2017 21:10 +0000 GMT

Addressing the final event of this year’s Africa Week at the United Nations, General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak on Friday highlighted the continent’s transformative changes driven by the African Union’s development agency.

UN delivering coordinated humanitarian response in wake of Mogadishu bombings

Fri, 20 October 2017 00:14 +0000 GMT

The United Nations family of agencies and programmes is continuing to roll out its response in support of the recovery and clean-up effort in Mogadishu following Saturday’s massive car bomb blast, which killed some 300 people, injured hundreds more, and is being called Somalia’s worst-ever such attack.

Africa's rapid urbanization can drive industrialization, says new UN report

Thu, 19 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

A United Nations report out Thursday makes concrete recommendations on how the right African policy framework can harness the continent's rapid urban transition to drive industrial development.

With fast-growing youth population, Africa boasts enormous market potential – UN deputy chief

Wed, 18 October 2017 23:04 +0000 GMT

African countries individually represent relatively small markets, but collectively, they represent enormous market potential, the United Nations deputy chief told an Africa Week event in New York on Wednesday.

UN News Centre - Europe

UN rights experts urge France to provide safe water, sanitation for migrants in ‘Calais Jungle’

Mon, 16 October 2017 16:25 +0000 GMT

United Nations human rights experts are urging the Government of France to devise long-term measures to provide access to safe drinking water and sanitation for migrants in Calais and other areas along the northern French coast.

People’s lives continue to worsen, but they live with hope, says UN official in Ukraine

Fri, 13 October 2017 21:20 +0000 GMT

Concluding her visit to Ukraine, the United Nations Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator underlined on Friday the urgent need for humanitarian funding to address the dire situation faced by millions of civilians during the coming winter months.

Partnerships will play key role in future of work in Europe and Central Asia - UN labour agency

Thu, 05 October 2017 17:01 +0000 GMT

The United Nations International Labour Organization’s 10th European Regional Meeting concluded today with a call for a future of work where partnerships play a key role in promoting dialogue, social progress and economic growth in the region.

Switzerland needs to do more to keep ‘dirty money’ at bay, urges UN expert

Wed, 04 October 2017 22:29 +0000 GMT

Highlighting the problems posed by illicit financial flows globally, including undermining rule of law and human rights, a United Nations human rights expert has called on Switzerland to ensure that so called dirty money – which stems from tax evasion and corruption – does not enter its financial market.

UN human rights chief urges probe into violence during referendum in Catalonia

Mon, 02 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The top United Nations human rights official urged today the authorities in Spain to ensure thorough, independent and impartial investigations into all acts of violence that took place Sunday during a referendum on the independence of Catalonia.

France must bring counter-terrorism law in line with international rights obligations – UN experts

Wed, 27 September 2017 22:26 +0000 GMT

Warning of possible “discriminatory repercussions," especially for Muslims, two United Nations rights experts expressed concern over a new law that may perpetuate the emergency measures France introduced in 2015 – establishing a permanent state of emergency.

United Nations ‘backbone’ of global order, stresses Norway at Assembly

Mon, 25 September 2017 17:35 +0000 GMT

Underscoring that the “unprecedented” progress achieved by human kind over the last decades cannot be taken for granted, Norway called for continued international cooperation to safeguard the achievements and to ensure that they remain sustainable.

Allow people to be ‘dignified agents of their own destiny,’ Holy See tells UN debate

Mon, 25 September 2017 17:14 +0000 GMT

The Observer of the Holy See, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary of Relations with States, speaking on the final day of the United Nations General Assembly’s annual debate praised this year’s theme – ‘Focusing on People: Striving for peace and a decent life on a sustainable planet’– saying that Pope Francis “never tires of insisting on people first, especially those who suffer, those who are excluded, marginalized and left behind.”

UN News Centre - Americas

UN chief Guterres, US President Trump commit to work together to address common challenges

Sat, 21 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres met Friday with United States President Donald Trump and discussed, among others, tensions in the Korean Peninsula and the fight against terrorism.

INTERVIEW: Hurricane-hit Caribbean nations can build back better, says UN development official

Thu, 19 October 2017 18:57 +0000 GMT

“People want to live here for very good reason – they’re beautiful islands, it’s where people have lived for centuries, their families have lived here for centuries,” Mr. O’Malley said in an interview with UN News on the side lines of the Secretary-General’s visit. “So how do you make sure that you use the right techniques to keep yourself as safe, and your country as safe, as possible?”

Secretary-General welcomes launch of new UN mission in Haiti

Mon, 16 October 2017 23:23 +0000 GMT

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterrs welcomed the establishment Monday of the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), following the closure of its predecessor peacekeeping mission.

INTERVIEW: Haiti on path to stability, development thanks to UN mission, says envoy

Fri, 13 October 2017 21:17 +0000 GMT

After 13 years, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) will close its doors on 15 October. The Mission was established by the Security Council at a time when State authority had been weak and limited to parts of the capital, Port-au-Prince, with the three branches of power either non-functional or non-existent, and a national police force that was overwhelmed by the multiple threats to public order and the rule of law.

Chile becomes latest nation to resettle Syrian refugees through UN-backed programme

Fri, 13 October 2017 21:15 +0000 GMT

Sixty-six Syrian adults and children arrived in Santiago, Chile from Lebanon on Thursday, making the South American country the newest to resettle Syrian refugees under a United Nations-backed programme.

Latin America and Caribbean falling off ‘zero hunger’ path towards 2030 – UN report

Thu, 12 October 2017 16:35 +0000 GMT

The total number of persons that suffer from hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean has increased, reversing decades of progress, even as overweight and obesity emerged as a major problem in all countries in the region of the Americas, a United Nations-backed report shows.

FEATURE: Images of the legacy of the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti

Thu, 12 October 2017 15:25 +0000 GMT

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH, will close on 15 October 2017, replaced with a smaller group of police and civilian officers who will help the Government to strengthen rule of law and security in the Caribbean country.

US withdrawal from UNESCO 'loss for multilateralism,' says cultural agency's chief

Thu, 12 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voiced &#8220profound regret&#8221 on Thursday over the United States' decision to withdraw from the agency.

UN News Centre - Asia Pacific

Rohingya crisis: Donors pledge $344 million at UN-backed conference to support aid efforts

Mon, 23 October 2017 19:12 +0000 GMT

A United Nations-supported humanitarian conference today raised more than $344 million to fund critical relief programmes for Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh.

‘Cycle of violence must end,’ says UN chief, condemning latest attacks in Afghanistan

Sat, 21 October 2017 00:31 +0000 GMT

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has strongly condemned today’s attacks at mosques in Afghanistan’s Kabul city and Ghor Province during Friday prayers.

Rohingya crisis: UNICEF issues 'Child Alert,'; outlines urgent action to save lives

Fri, 20 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Issuing a dire warning on the desperate situation of Rohingya refugee children, who now number more than 320,000 in Bangladesh, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has called for an end to the atrocities targeting civilians in Myanmar's Rakhine state, and immediate and unfettered access to all children affected by the violence there.

UN migration chief urges more support for Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar or 'thousands will suffer'

Thu, 19 October 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The United Nations migration agency and its partners are supporting Bangladesh in coordinating assistance for the influx of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, including with clean water and sanitation, shelter, food and psychosocial care for the most vulnerable.

UN strongly condemns terrorist attacks across Afghanistan

Wed, 18 October 2017 22:13 +0000 GMT

Secretary-General António Guterres and the United Nations Security Council have condemned yesterday's attacks in Afghanistan's Paktya and Ghazni provinces, which left many dead and injured.

Myanmar: Plight of refugees focus of top UN political official's meetings

Tue, 17 October 2017 21:42 +0000 GMT

Concluding a visit to Myanmar, the top United Nations political official has underscored the importance of accountability and non-discriminatory rule of law and public safety as part of the comprehensive approach needed to address the fears and distrust among communities in Rakhine.

Thousands of Rohingya refugees stranded near Bangladesh-Myanmar border – UN

Tue, 17 October 2017 17:10 +0000 GMT

The United Nations refugee agency is concerned about the humanitarian condition of up to 15,000 Rohingya refugees who are stranded in paddy fields near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

UN calls for global solidarity ahead of pledging conference on Rohingya refugee crisis

Mon, 16 October 2017 21:53 +0000 GMT

Senior United Nations officials are urging the international community to come together in support of a 23 October pledging conference to “send a strong message to Rohingya refugees and their generous hosts in Bangladesh that the world is there for them in their greatest time of need.”