United Nations news: top stories

On Day of Remembrance, UN says history of slave trade can help combat social injustice

Wed, 23 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Remembering the universal demand for freedom that led to the 1791 insurrection by slaves in what is now Haiti, the head of the United Nations cultural and educational agency today marked the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition by underscoring the importance of teaching this history to young people.

Syria: UN relief officials condemn targeting of civilians, infrastructure as airstrikes hit Raqqa

Tue, 22 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Senior United Nations humanitarian officials for Syria today expressed deep concern over many civilians reportedly killed in airstrikes and other attacks in the last few days in Raqqa city, where coalition forces are fighting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists.

Worldwide remembrance of the slave trade 'a tribute to every victim' – senior UNESCO official

Tue, 22 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

While the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is a tribute to every victim and their resistance against slavery, it is also a reminder of the importance of teaching history, a senior United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural (UNESCO) has stressed.

Justice vital to help Iraqi victims of ISIL's sexual violence rebuild lives – UN report

Tue, 22 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The Iraqi Government must ensure that the thousands of women and girls who survived sexual violence by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) terrorist fighters receive care, protection and justice, and that children born because of such violence do not face a life of discrimination and abuse, a United Nations report published today says.

Senior UN political official concerned by recent incidents that undermine Middle East peace process

Tue, 22 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

A senior United Nations political affairs official today voiced concerns over recent developments that undermine efforts to end the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including Israel's move to amend a law to cement its control over East Jerusalem.

UN human rights chief welcomes rape law reform in Lebanon, Tunisia, Jordan

Tue, 22 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Today, the top United Nations human rights official welcomed the repeal of laws in Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan that allow rapists to avoid criminal prosecution by marrying their victims.

UNICEF warns use of children as 'human bombs' is on the rise in north-east Nigeria

Tue, 22 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The United Nations children agency today expressed extreme concern at the appalling increase in the cruel and calculated use of children, especially girls, as &#8220human bombs&#8221 in north-east Nigeria.

UN aid workers urge safe passage for civilians fleeing northern Iraq ahead of battle

Tue, 22 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Warning of harassment, revenge attacks and abuse of civilians displaced from the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, United Nations refugee and migration agencies today called for people trying to flee the city ahead of military operations to have safe passage.

UN News Centre - Middle East

More than 350,000 children vaccinated against polio in hard to reach areas of Syria – UN

Fri, 18 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

A United Nations polio vaccination campaign in Syria has provided protection to more than 355,000 children under age five in two governorates, where violence has made access especially difficult.

Yemen's 'man-made catastrophe' is ravaging country, senior UN officials tell Security Council

Fri, 18 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Warning about escalating suffering in Yemen's man-made catastrophe, senior United Nations officials today addressed the Security Council, calling on the international community to push for a political solution to the more than two-year-old conflict.

Pregnant, breastfeeding women among most at risk in Yemen's cholera outbreak

Thu, 17 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

In the midst of the cholera outbreak in Yemen, where an average 5,000 people fall sick every day, the United Nations population agency is warning about the dangers to pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Yemen's cholera epidemic surpasses half-million suspected cases, UN agency says

Mon, 14 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

More than 500,000 people in Yemen are suspected of having cholera, the United Nations health agency today said, warning that the disease is spreading quickly due to a lack of clean water or health access.

In Iraq, UN Youth Envoy says young people are 'most valuable force we have to shape a better future'

Sat, 12 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

As International Youth Day events kicked off worldwide today, at a special event in Iraq, the United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, pledged to do everything in her power to ensure the voices of youths, including those working to build peace, are heard.

Over 600,000 displaced Syrians returned home so far this year – UN agency

Fri, 11 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

More than 600,000 displaced Syrians returned home in the first seven months of 2017, the United Nations migration agency and partners have found.

Iraq: UN refugee agency steps up humanitarian support for families returning to Mosul

Fri, 11 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The United Nations refugee agency has been stepping up its assistance for people, including thousands of returnees, in the Iraqi city of Mosul, which had until recently been the scene of a fierce battle for control between terrorist fighters and the Government forces.

UN rights office 'deeply concerned' about deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza

Fri, 11 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The United Nations human rights office today expressed deep concern about the steadily deteriorating humanitarian and human rights conditions in Gaza, especially the restrictions on the enclave's power supply.

UN News Centre - Africa

UN agencies rushing aid to more than 3,000 displaced in flood-hit Sierra Leone

Thu, 17 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

United Nations agencies are stepping up efforts to aid displaced families affected by the deadly flooding and landslides in Sierra Leon's capital, Freetown, and surrounding areas.

South Sudan refugees in Uganda exceed one million; UN renews appeal for help

Thu, 17 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

As the number of refugees from South Sudan in Uganda passes one million &#8211 the vast majority of whom are women and children &#8211 the United Nations refugee agency today reiterated its call for urgent additional support.

In East Darfur, UN refugee chief urges international support for Sudan

Thu, 17 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The United Nations refugee chief has called for international solidarity and resources to aid Sudan, which is one of the major hosting countries for refugees fleeing the conflict in South Sudan.

ICC orders former Mali Islamist to pay more than $3 million for damage to Timbuktu cultural sites

Thu, 17 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

For deliberately attacking religious and historic buildings in Timbuktu, Mali, the International Criminal Court (ICC) today issued to Malian Islamist a nearly three million euros Reparations Order, due on 16 February 2018.

UN chief condemns deadly terrorist attacks in Borno state, Nigeria

Wed, 16 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Condemning a series of terrorist attacks in north-eastern Nigeria, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called for those responsible for these &#8220repeated heinous acts&#8221 to be brought to justice.

Emergency food distributions launched to assist thousands displaced in DR Congo – UN agency

Wed, 16 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Food assistance will be provided to food insecure people displaced by conflict in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), says the United Nations food agency.

Guterres appoints former German President Köhler as his Western Sahara envoy

Wed, 16 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Horst Köhler, former President of Germany, as his Personal Envoy for Western Sahara.

UN migration agency assists population in wake of devastating floods in Sierra Leone

Tue, 15 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

After learning Monday that devastating floods and mudslides left hundreds dead in Sierra Leone, the United Nations migration agency released $150,000 in emergency, first-response aid relief for the West African country.

UN News Centre - Europe

'UN stands in solidarity with Finland in its fight against terrorism,' says Guterres

Sat, 19 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today condemned the terrorist attack in south-western Finland which killed at least two people.

UN rights experts warn new EU policy on boat rescues will cause more people to drown

Thu, 17 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The European Union's new policy on Mediterranean Sea rescues threatens life and breaches international standards, two United Nations independent human experts today cautioned.

UN condemns deadly terrorist attack in Barcelona

Thu, 17 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Condemning today's terrorist attack on Barcelona, Spain, Secretary-General António Guterres said the United Nations stands in solidarity with the Government and people of Spain in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

Post-election Kosovo entering period of uncertainty that will demand strong leadership – UN envoy

Wed, 16 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Following the parliamentary elections of 11 June, which took place without &#8220major irregularities or incidents,&#8221 Kosovo has entered a &#8220period of uncertainty&#8221 marked by reconfiguring the political landscape and a &#8220functional void,&#8221 the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Kosovo Zahir Tanin told the Security Council today.

After four years of conflict, uncertainty lingers for displaced Ukrainians – UN refugee agency

Fri, 11 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

As the conflict in Ukraine enters its fourth year, nearly 1.6 million internally displaced people are struggling to find safety, adequate housing and access to employment, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

Security Council extends mandate of UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus

Thu, 27 July 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The Security Council today renewed the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Cyprus for six months, until 31 January 2018, following the recent failure to reach a settlement to the longstanding conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the Mediterranean island.

Majority of children fleeing to Europe just want to get away, UNICEF reports

Tue, 25 July 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Facing violence and trauma in Libya and other countries, thousands of children decided to flee by themselves, seeking to get away but not necessarily aiming for Europe, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today reported.

UN report reveals shocking abuse African migrant women face on their journey to Europe

Fri, 21 July 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The United Nations migration agency today said that perhaps 80 per cent of Nigerian migrant women and girls arriving on Europe's shores in Italy could potentially be sex trafficking victims, spotlighting the horrific levels of abuse and violence migrants face along their arduous journeys for a better future.

UN News Centre - Americas

UN observers conclude FARC-EP arms removal process in Colombia

Wed, 16 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

More than 8,000 weapons and over one million burned cartridges were transported to a central warehouse in Colombia as the United Nations political mission in the country concluded the process of the laying down of individual weapons of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) combatants.

'Racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism or Islamophobia are poisoning our societies' &#8211 UN chief

Wed, 16 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Urging people everywhere to speak out against hate speech and hate crimes, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today reiterated his call for tolerance, respect for the other and the importance of recognizing diversity.

Latin America and Caribbean at difficult juncture as foreign direct investment shrinks &#8211 UN

Wed, 16 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The United Nations Latin America commission has reported that foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the region declined by 7.9 per cent to $167.043 billion in 2016, due to low commodity prices, sluggish economic growth and global trend of shifting investment in developed economies.

Venezuela: UN urges Government and opposition to relaunch political talks

Tue, 08 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Concerned that recent developments in Venezuela could lead to further escalation of tensions and hamper a peaceful solution to the crisis, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres again today urged the Government and the opposition to relaunch negotiations for the benefit of the Venezuelan people.

UN chief urges Venezuelans to ease tensions and engage in negotiations

Mon, 07 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is closely following recent developments in Venezuela, his Spokesperson told reporters today.

Colombia: UN-backed team ambushed; one wounded in attack

Mon, 07 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

A team from the United Nations Mission in Colombia was ambushed on Sunday while working to uncover explosives left by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) in the Caloto municipality in the south-west of the country.

Tallying fewer crossings, UN agency reports rise in migrant deaths at US-Mexico border

Fri, 04 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Even as the flow appears to have thinned, migrants crossing the United States-Mexico border are dying at a faster rate in 2017 than in past years, according to a new United Nations agency study.

UN Latin America commission forecasts low but positive growth for region in 2017

Fri, 04 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

With better commodity export prices and an improved international context, the Latin America and the Caribbean region will record a small positive growth rate this year &#8211 with the exception of Venezuela and two Caribbean countries, according to a new report of the UN Latin America commission.

UN News Centre - Asia Pacific

As tensions on Korean Peninsula grow, UN chief urges world to 'dial up' diplomacy

Wed, 16 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Addressing the growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today said it was important &#8220to dial down rhetoric and dial up diplomacy.&#8221

UN humanitarian team activated in Nepal in wake of severe floods and landslides

Tue, 15 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) has been activated in Nepal to support response efforts in the aftermath of severe floods that have hit the nation, the office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the country has said.

UN rights expert urges restraint in security operation in Myanmar's Rakhine state

Fri, 11 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

A United Nations human rights expert has expressed alarm over reports that an army battalion has flown into Rakhine state in western Myanmar to help local authorities boost security in the region.

UN refugee agency voices 'grave concern' as crisis escalates at Manus Island processing centre

Tue, 08 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

The United Nations refugee agency today expressed a grave concern over the deteriorating conditions for refugees and asylum seekers at Australia's offshore immigration processing facility on the Manus Island of Papua New Guinea.

On anniversary of Hiroshima bombing, UN chief calls for intensified effort on nuclear disarmament

Sun, 06 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

With the presence of some 15,000 nuclear weapons on earth, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today urged all States to intensify their efforts in the shared pursuit of a nuclear-weapons-free world.

UN Security Council toughens sanctions on DPR Korea over ballistic missile launches

Sat, 05 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

In response to the launches of ballistic missiles of possible intercontinental range by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United Nations Security Council today moved to strengthen sanctions on the Northeast Asian country's exports.

Afghanistan: UN condemns killing of civilians in Herat mosque attack

Wed, 02 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and the UN political mission in Afghanistan have denounced last night's attack against worshippers gathered in a mosque in the city of Herat which killed at least 31 civilians and injured many more.

Deadly combination of cholera, hunger and conflict pushes Yemen to 'edge of a cliff' – senior UN official

Tue, 01 August 2017 05:00 +0000 GMT

Describing the situation in Yemen as &#8220very bleak,&#8221 with &#8220no end in sight,&#8221 a senior United Nations official envoy today said the war-torn country, already reeling from malnutrition and dwindling health care, is plummeting into further distress amid a deadly cholera outbreak and looming famine.