United Nations news: top stories

Dozens of children at risk as clashes in Hudaydah near hospital – UNICEF

Tue, 06 November 2018 21:42 +0000 GMT

Intense fighting near a major hospital in the Yemeni port city of Hudaydah has put scores of children at “imminent risk of death”, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Tuesday, calling on the warring parties to stop hostilities near the medical centre and allow those in need to safely access treatment.

China hails human rights progress amid calls to close detention camps

Tue, 06 November 2018 21:05 +0000 GMT

China has pledged to eradicate poverty in rural areas by 2020 during a scheduled United Nations review of the country’s human rights record, amid concerns over the alleged arbitrary detention of religious and ethnic minorities there.

Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants kick off a global migration search movement

Tue, 06 November 2018 20:51 +0000 GMT

As mothers searching for the whereabouts of their migrant children amassed last weekend in Mexico City, a historic nine countries were represented, as well as the United Nations International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Missing Migrants Project.

‘Time is of the essence’ for refugees on Greek islands – UN agency

Tue, 06 November 2018 17:41 +0000 GMT

Authorities in Greece must take urgent steps to address the “abhorrent” humanitarian situation for around 11,000 asylum-seekers on the islands of Samos and Lesvos, the UN refugee agency warned on Tuesday.

Taliban-led violence during recent Afghan polls leaves record high numbers of civilians dead – UN

Tue, 06 November 2018 17:22 +0000 GMT

The Taliban’s campaign of violence and intimidation during last month’s parliamentary elections in Afghanistan was the deadliest for civilians in years, a report by the United Nations mission in the country, UNAMA, revealed on Tuesday.

ISIL’s ‘legacy of terror’ in Iraq: UN verifies over 200 mass graves

Tue, 06 November 2018 17:04 +0000 GMT

Investigators have uncovered more than 200 mass graves containing thousands of bodies in areas of Iraq formerly controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), according to a United Nations human rights report out on Tuesday.

‘Warp speed’ technology must be ‘force for good’ UN chief tells web leaders

Mon, 05 November 2018 22:32 +0000 GMT

Technological advances are happening “at a warp speed,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday in Lisbon, Portugal, as a major three-day Web Summit got underway.

UN recorded 64 new allegations of sexual exploitation or abuse in the past three months

Mon, 05 November 2018 21:22 +0000 GMT

Across its various offices, agencies, and partner organisations implementing its programmes, the United Nations received 64 new allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), involving 77 victims, between July and September, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said on Monday.

UN News Centre - Middle East

Dozens of children at risk as clashes in Hudaydah near hospital – UNICEF

Tue, 06 November 2018 21:42 +0000 GMT

Intense fighting near a major hospital in the Yemeni port city of Hudaydah has put scores of children at “imminent risk of death”, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Tuesday, calling on the warring parties to stop hostilities near the medical centre and allow those in need to safely access treatment.

ISIL’s ‘legacy of terror’ in Iraq: UN verifies over 200 mass graves

Tue, 06 November 2018 17:04 +0000 GMT

Investigators have uncovered more than 200 mass graves containing thousands of bodies in areas of Iraq formerly controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), according to a United Nations human rights report out on Tuesday.

Ending use of chemical weapons in Syria: ‘still work to be done’, says UN disarmament chief

Mon, 05 November 2018 17:43 +0000 GMT

As inspections and investigations continue into several reported instances of chemical weapons use against civilians in Syria, the United Nations High Representative on Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, told the Security Council on Monday that much remains to be done to end their use, and called for international unity.  

Yemen: 'Living hell' for all children, says UNICEF; Angelia Jolie calls for ‘lasting ceasefire’

Sun, 04 November 2018 22:37 +0000 GMT

Some 30,000 children in Yemen die each year of malnutrition, Geert Cappelaere, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa told reporters on Sunday after visiting the country – calling it “a living hell for children.”

Syria: UN chief welcomes first aid convoy to Rukban camp since January, joint agency operation assists 50,000

Sat, 03 November 2018 22:21 +0000 GMT

The United Nations and Syrian Arabic Red Crescent (SARC) kicked off a joint aid operation on Saturday, delivering vital humanitarian assistance to 50,000 people in south-east Syria’s Rukban camp, near the Jordanian border.

International court rejects Saif Gaddafi call to drop arrest warrant

Fri, 02 November 2018 17:53 +0000 GMT

A call by Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi ­– son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and de facto Prime Minister of the country during the time of his father’s rule – for an international arrest warrant against him to be ruled inadmissible, was rejected by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), on Friday.

Yemen: UN chief hails ‘signs of hope’ in world’s worst man-made humanitarian disaster

Fri, 02 November 2018 17:11 +0000 GMT

Welcoming recent indications that peace talks could resume soon to end Yemen’s brutal civil conflict, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday there is “no room for complacency,” and called on the warring parties and the international community to “halt the senseless cycle of violence” and “reach a political settlement”.

Looming famine in Yemen could put two million mothers at risk of death – UN agency

Thu, 01 November 2018 17:18 +0000 GMT

The critical difficulties in accessing food in Yemen, and other hardships caused by the ongoing conflict, could lead to the world’s worst famine ever, and place up to two million malnourished, pregnant and lactating women at risk of death, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA, said on Thursday.

UN News Centre - Africa

FROM THE FIELD: Green shoots of peace in South Sudan

Mon, 05 November 2018 20:02 +0000 GMT

Some 5,000 seedlings of trees indigenous to South Sudan are being distributed to schools, sports centres and other public meeting places by the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, UNMISS, as part of its commitment to countering climate change.

UN rights chief warns of potential ‘witch-hunt’ as Tanzanian official plans to track and arrest LGBT people

Fri, 02 November 2018 16:26 +0000 GMT

The United Nations human rights chief has warned that an official campaign in and around the capital of Tanzania to identify and detain anyone suspected of being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) “could turn into a witch-hunt.”

As South Sudan celebrates, UN envoy cites trust as future ‘key ingredient’

Thu, 01 November 2018 20:34 +0000 GMT

Thousands of elated citizens gathered in South Sudan’s capital of Juba on Wednesday to celebrate an agreement signed in September between the President and his former deputy, which it is hoped will finally end years of brutal conflict across the world’s youngest country.

‘Stand-off’ between Somalia’s federal, state authorities could ‘paralyze’ progress – UN envoy

Thu, 01 November 2018 15:37 +0000 GMT

Ongoing tensions between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the country’s state authorities were centre stage, as the United Nations top envoy for the country visited the country’s South West State on Wednesday.

FROM THE FIELD: Guinean peacekeepers walk a fine line in Mali

Wed, 31 October 2018 20:59 +0000 GMT

A team of Guinean peacekeepers deployed to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, (MINUSMA) is playing a key role in removing explosives from areas in which the mission is operating.

Security Council extends mandate of UN peace mission in Western Sahara by six months

Wed, 31 October 2018 20:16 +0000 GMT

The United Nations Security Council, on Wednesday, extended the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), until 30 April next year.

‘No cure’ for HIV in Zimbabwe says UN, following claims from local preacher

Wed, 31 October 2018 17:38 +0000 GMT

The United Nations in Zimbabwe is reaffirming that people living with HIV and AIDS need to continue with antiretroviral (ARV) therapy to manage their infections, after a local preacher reportedly claimed that he had received divine revelation of an herbal cure.

Nigeria: Awareness-raising radio show on perils and opportunities of migration, launched by UN agency

Tue, 30 October 2018 21:13 +0000 GMT

A radio series was launched on Tuesday in Nigeria by the UN migration agency (IOM) to sensitize vulnerable people seeking to pursue economic opportunities abroad on the perils of irregular migration – migration done outside the regulated frameworks – and provide information on pathways to migrate legally and safely.

UN News Centre - Europe

‘Time is of the essence’ for refugees on Greek islands – UN agency

Tue, 06 November 2018 17:41 +0000 GMT

Authorities in Greece must take urgent steps to address the “abhorrent” humanitarian situation for around 11,000 asylum-seekers on the islands of Samos and Lesvos, the UN refugee agency warned on Tuesday.

Exercise ‘utmost restraint’ in eastern Ukraine to safeguard civilian life, top UN official urges fighters on the ground

Tue, 30 October 2018 22:15 +0000 GMT

After a lull in fighting in Ukraine over the summer, the last few weeks have seen a sharp rise in civilian deaths, more than half of which are due to landmines and explosive remnants of war, the United Nations top political official said on Tuesday.

French full-body veil ban, violated women’s freedom of religion: UN Human Rights Committee

Tue, 23 October 2018 15:25 +0000 GMT

Following complaints by two French Muslim women, fined for wearing a full-body veil or niqab, a UN Committee of independent human rights experts ruled in their favour on Tuesday, stating that their freedom to practice their religion had been infringed.

Killing and rape of Bulgarian investigative reporter is an ‘outrage’ - UNESCO chief

Tue, 09 October 2018 15:59 +0000 GMT

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), has condemned the “brutal” killing of investigative reporter Victoria Marinova, whose body was found on Saturday in the Bulgarian city of Ruse, bearing signs of suffocation and sexual assault.

Independent inquiry needed into suspected ‘enforced disappearance’ of Saudi journalist: UN rights office

Tue, 09 October 2018 15:43 +0000 GMT

The “apparent enforced disappearance” of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was last seen reportedly visiting his country’s consulate in Istanbul last week, requires a full investigation involving both Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Tuesday.

Idea of ‘homogenous’ Polish culture is a myth: UN human rights expert

Fri, 05 October 2018 15:10 +0000 GMT

An independent UN rights expert has accused the Polish Government of  disseminating the “myth” of a “homogenous” Polish culture, in a statement released on Friday.

Work together, act on promises made collectively, Sweden urges at UN Assembly

Mon, 01 October 2018 23:01 +0000 GMT

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, the Swedish head of delegation underscored the importance of international cooperation and called on world leaders to work together to deliver on the promise of peace and prosperity for everyone everywhere.

Global Goals promise to ‘leave no one behind’ is key for middle-income countries, Belarusian minister tells UN Assembly

Mon, 01 October 2018 14:53 +0000 GMT

In spite of the criticism levelled against the United Nations, there is no other such platform for cooperation or a multilateral mechanism based on “equal and respectful attitude towards each and every country and their needs,” the foreign minister of Belarus told the General Assembly.

UN News Centre - Americas

Prosecution of Paraguay judges over peasant ‘massacre’ ruling could undermine rule of law: UN expert

Mon, 05 November 2018 18:30 +0000 GMT

The planned prosecution of Supreme Court judges who acquitted 11 peasant farmers jailed over the death of police officers during a violent land eviction in 2012, known as the Curuguaty Massacre”, could undermine the rule of law, a UN expert said on Monday.

UN General Assembly renews long-standing call for end to US embargo against Cuba

Thu, 01 November 2018 19:21 +0000 GMT

The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted in favour of condemning the United States economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba - a call it has made every year since 1992.

‘United against hate’: UN chief and religious leaders honour victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

Wed, 31 October 2018 18:07 +0000 GMT

Calling for solidarity against anti-Semitism, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, addressed an inter-faith tribute held on Wednesday in New York’s historic Park East Synagogue, to honour victims of Saturday’s mass-shooting in Pittsburgh.

FROM THE FIELD: Urban Mexico moves toward better livelihoods, cleaner cities

Tue, 30 October 2018 20:15 +0000 GMT

Mexico is improving the lives of the 80 percent of its inhabitants residing in cities, by pushing towards less polluted, more eco-friendly environments, thanks to support from the UN.

UN chief calls for ‘united front’ against anti-Semitism after US synagogue mass-shooting

Sat, 27 October 2018 21:55 +0000 GMT

The UN Secretary-General said on Saturday he was “deeply shocked” by a deadly mass-shooting inside a synagogue in the US city of Pittsburgh, which reportedly left 11 people dead and several others wounded, some critically.

2,300 migrant children in Central American ‘caravan’ need protection, UNICEF says

Fri, 26 October 2018 16:26 +0000 GMT

As some 7,000 mostly-Honduran migrants continue their journey northwards toward the United States, governments must prioritize the needs of migrant children when it comes to applying immigration laws and procedures, said the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday.

FROM THE FIELD: Enslaved Guatemalan indigenous women wait for reparations

Thu, 25 October 2018 15:24 +0000 GMT

Fifteen Guatemalan women from the Q’eqchi indigenous group, who were enslaved and raped by the military during the Central American country’s 36-year-long civil conflict, are still waiting for hard-won reparations to materialize.

As human caravan moves through Mexico, ‘full respect’ needed for national control of borders: UN chief

Mon, 22 October 2018 20:59 +0000 GMT

With more than 7,000 Central-American refugees now on the march through Mexico towards the southern border of the United States in search of safety and work, all countries involved are being urged by the UN to liaise with key agencies on the ground providing support.

UN News Centre - Asia Pacific

China hails human rights progress amid calls to close detention camps

Tue, 06 November 2018 21:05 +0000 GMT

China has pledged to eradicate poverty in rural areas by 2020 during a scheduled United Nations review of the country’s human rights record, amid concerns over the alleged arbitrary detention of religious and ethnic minorities there.

Taliban-led violence during recent Afghan polls leaves record high numbers of civilians dead – UN

Tue, 06 November 2018 17:22 +0000 GMT

The Taliban’s campaign of violence and intimidation during last month’s parliamentary elections in Afghanistan was the deadliest for civilians in years, a report by the United Nations mission in the country, UNAMA, revealed on Tuesday.

‘Colossal human loss’ threatens Asia, Pacific as hunger fight stalls – UN agencies

Fri, 02 November 2018 15:17 +0000 GMT

Well over half the world’s undernourished people live in the Asia-Pacific region, making it a critical part of the global push to end extreme hunger and malnutrition in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs), cautioned a new United Nations report on Friday.

FROM THE FIELD: 10,000 Indonesia quake survivors to receive UN tents

Mon, 29 October 2018 19:17 +0000 GMT

More than 2,000 emergency tents have been delivered by the UN to the people worst affected by the devastating earquake and tsunami that struck Sulawesi in Indonesia in September, 2018. 

‘Exercise restraint’ Guterres urges Sri Lankans, as political crisis deepens

Sun, 28 October 2018 18:23 +0000 GMT

United Nations chief António Guterres said on Sunday he was following Sri Lanka’s deepening political crisis with “great concern”, after a man was killed allegedly by a politician’s bodyguard, who reportedly fired on a crowd of demonstrators.

Accountability for atrocities in Myanmar ‘cannot be expected’ within its borders – UN investigator

Wed, 24 October 2018 20:19 +0000 GMT

Continued denial of the facts and evidence of gross human rights violations by Myanmar is a clear indication of the country’s “lack of interest” in establishing a fully functioning democracy based on individual rights and freedoms, two United Nations independent experts have underscored.

UN Security Council hails ‘courage’ of Afghan voters

Tue, 23 October 2018 21:16 +0000 GMT

Welcoming Saturday’s parliamentary elections in Afghanistan, the United Nations Security Council called for continued engagement with electoral institutions and urged that any complaints over the vote should be channelled through established legal and constitutional mechanisms.

Accountability a key pillar for reconciliation in Myanmar: UN Envoy

Sat, 20 October 2018 17:57 +0000 GMT

Accountability and inclusive dialogue are two important pillars for national reconciliation in Myanmar, said the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General (SESG), Christine Schraner Burgener in a statement released on Saturday, adding that “credible fact-finding is the first step towards accountability.”