United Nations

UN asks world for help as Syrian refugee numbers exceed 5 million

The number of Syrians who have fled the war in their country has risen above 5 million, in what is the world's largest refugee crisis, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Thursday in Geneva.

Six aid workers killed and dumped on road in South Sudan

Six aid workers have been killed in an ambush in violence-plagued South Sudan, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Sunday.

UN collects evidence of North Korean crimes against humanity

The United Nations will take concrete steps to collect evidence of grave human rights violations in North Korea to prepare the ground for trials in the future, the UN Human Rights Council decided Friday in Geneva.

UN: 38,000 Afghans displaced by conflict since beginning of 2017

The ongoing conflict in Afghanistan has forced 38,110 people to leave their homes since the beginning of 2017, a United Nations report said on Monday.

Unknown rebels abduct American and Swedish UN staffers in Congo

Two United Nation staffers - one American, one Swedish - are among six people recently abducted by unknown rebels in central Congo, the government announced Monday.

Ukraine urges UN court take action against Russia's 'terrorist acts'

Ukraine demanded on Monday that the United Nations' highest court take action against Russia's "terrorist acts" in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

UN: 1.7 million children die from environmental causes each year

The lives of 1.7 million young children are cut short each year by pollution and other environmental dangers, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday in Geneva.

Trump, Merkel to meet in bid to forge new trans-Atlantic relationship

German Chancellor Angela Merkel travels to Washington this month for her first face-to-face meeting with US President Donald Trump following a testy start to their relationship.

UN Myanmar monitor proposes formal inquiry on Rohingya abuses

The United Nations should launch a formal investigation of possible crimes against humanity that have targeted Myanmar's Rohingya minority, UN rights observer Yanghee Lee demands.

UN accuses Congo security forces of killing dozens of protesters

A United Nations report Wednesday accused the Congolese police and army of excessive use of force in containing demonstrations against President Joseph Kabila, saying at least 40 people had been killed by security forces in December.

Russia, China veto Syria sanctions in UN Security Council

Russia and China on Tuesday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling for sanctions against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad for its use of chemical weapons.

Guterres: Rights of minorities, migrants are under attack

The human rights of minorities and migrants are being attacked by populists and by governments that shirk their responsibilities to protect refugees, UN chief Antonio Guterres said Monday at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Venezuela, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu lose UN vote over unpaid fees

Venezuela, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu are among six nations who have lost the right to vote at the United Nations General Assembly for not paying their compulsory annual contributions.

WHO: More than 300 million suffer from depression as world ages

The global number of people with depression has risen by 18 per cent to 322 million in the past decade, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday, demanding greater attention for high-risk groups.

UN talks peace with Syrian regime, opposition as fighting escalates

The United Nations launched a new effort at Syrian peace talks in Geneva on Thursday, as heavy fighting between regime and rebel forces dampened hopes for any quick solution to end the war after nearly six years.

UN: Trial against Gaddafi regime was unfair, flawed

Former members of the Gaddafi regime did not get a fair trial in Libya because the proceedings were so seriously compromised, the United Nations criticized in a report on Monday.

Famine declared in parts of South Sudan - 100,000 facing starvation

More than 100,000 people are facing starvation in parts of violence-plagued South Sudan, three UN agencies said Monday as they declared famine in parts of the country.

Guterres: UN reform is necessary in light of terrorism, conflict

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Saturday that fundamental reform of the United Nations is required to tackle new global challenges including international terrorism, war and conflict.

International community warns Congo against postponing elections

The United Nations, the African Union and the European Union on Thursday expressed concern over Congo's lack of progress in organizing the elections due this year, urging the "full and timely implementation" of the plan.

Australia rejects UN talks on treaty to ban nuclear weapons

Australia will not participate in a United Nations conference next month to discuss banning nuclear weapons, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

UN, EU labour bodies promote proper pay for after-hours remote work

As mobile devices allow more and more employees to work at all hours of the day, governments should make companies pay for this type of telework, the labour bodies of the United Nations and the European Union said Wednesday.

UN chief vows full support for Yemen envoy after Houthi criticism

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Sunday expressed his support for his organization's envoy to Yemen, after Houthi rebels there accused the envoy of being biased against them and demanded his replacement.

Israeli PM: Palestinians shouldn't always be handed 'free' UN roles

Palestinians cannot constantly be given "free gifts" when it comes to United Nations roles, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, two days after the US rejected former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad's appointment as an envoy.

PLO: US rejecting Fayyad's UN appointment is 'discrimination'

The United States' rejection of former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad to the role of United Nations' envoy to Libya is "a case of blatant discrimination against him on the basis of his nationality," a Palestinian official said Saturday.

UN: Child casualties rise dramatically in Afghanistan

At 3,512 in 2016, child casualties were the highest recorded in a single year, the United Nations said in its annual report on civilian casualties in the Afghan war released on Monday. 

US military releases, then withdraws, old video of new raid in Yemen

The US military released a video meant to be from an operation in Yemen last month, but quickly withdrew it later Friday after realizing it was old footage already circulating on the internet.

UN reports mass rapes, baby killings targeting Rohingya in Myanmar

The United Nations have gathered evidence that Myanmar's security forces have committed mass rapes and killed young children in their crackdown on the Rohingya minority, according to a UN report that was published Friday.

Ukraine 'absolutely satisfied' with US support on Crimea

Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the UN said Wednesday that he was "absolutely satisfied" with the support of the US on the issue of Crimea.

Iran: Missile test did not violate UN resolution in nuclear deal

Iranian missile tests are legitimate and do not breach a UN resolution implemented as part of the 2015 nuclear deal, the country's foreign minister said Tuesday.

Kenya to send troops back to South Sudan after spat with UN

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said his country would again send troops to the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan after allegations of negligence led to the premature withdrawal of Kenyan soldiers from the war-stricken country.

UN climate chief warns Trump not to pull out of Paris accord

United Nations climate chief Patricia Espinosa has warned US President Donald Trump not to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

UN launches mobile messaging system for Afghan refugees in Pakistan

The United Nations launched a mobile messaging service for young Afghan refugees in Pakistan, enabling them to make visible their needs and issues in the areas of health, education and protection, water sanitation, social welfare and others, the world body said in a press release on Friday.

UN: 550 million dollars in aid needed for Afghanistan

The United Nations on Saturday appealed for 550 million dollars in humanitarian aid for Afghanistan in order to target 5.7 million people in need of assistance in 2017. 

UN rapporteur investigates conflict zone in Myanmar's Rakhine State

UN special rapporteur on human rights Yanghee Lee on Saturday visited the conflict zone in Myanmar's northern Rakhine State where the military allegedly has been committing human rights abuses against the Muslim minority Rohingya for months now.

UN: South Sudan reverses stance to accept further peacekeepers

The South Sudanese government will accept the deployment of a 4,000-strong United Nations regional protection force, UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said in New York Thursday.

South Sudan rejects regional protection force planned by UN

South Sudan said Wednesday it would no longer accept the deployment of a 4,000-strong regional protection force planned by the United Nations for the violence-plagued country.

Negotiators tackle thorny obstacles on path to reuniting Cyprus

The Greek and Turkish leaders of Cyprus returned to the negotiating table Monday in Geneva to work on the few but divisive issues that stand in the way of an agreement to end the separation of the island after 40 years.

Israel cuts UN payments to protest settlements condemnation

Israel will withhold about 6 million dollars in UN dues to protest the international body's recent condemnation of Israel for building settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, its UN ambassador tweeted late Friday.

Palestinian President Abbas calls for timetable on ending occupation

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called for a timetable for ending Israel's occupation of the West Bank following a UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlement activity.

Ukraine summons Israeli ambassador over cancelled visit by Netanyahu

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has summoned Israel's ambassador to discuss a cancelled meeting between the nations' prime ministers, said an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad welcome UN vote against Israeli settlement

Both the Islamic Hamas movement and the less influential Islamic Jihad (Holy War) welcomed the vote in the United Nations Security Council on Friday which condemned Israeli settlement activity and called on Israel to halt it in the Palestinian territories.

Shock US abstention allows UN condemnation of Israel over settlements

The United States allowed UN Security Council passage of a resolution Friday demanding a halt to Israel's settlement activity in the West Bank, exposing an unusual rift between the two allies.

Security Council extends Liberia deployment for final time

The UN Security Council on Friday extended for the final time the UN peacekeeping deployment to the west African country of Liberia.

UN Security Council rejects weapons embargo for South Sudan

The UN Security Council on Friday rejected a resolution to impose sanctions and a weapons embargo on South Sudan, which has been embroiled in a years-long civil war.

Israeli government condemns settlement vote at UN Security Council

The Israeli government has come out in full force against a UN Security Council vote scheduled Thursday on a draft resolution demanding a halt to settlement activity in the West Bank.

UN report: three-quarters of human traffic victims are women

Nearly three-quarters of human trafficking victims worldwide are girls and women, according to a United Nations report released Wednesday.

About 19 killed in Kinshasa protests, UN says in Congo

About 19 people have been killed in anti-government protests in Congo's capital Kinshasa, the UN said Wednesday.

Japan plans to oppose US-backed South Sudan arms embargo

Japan is expected to oppose a UN arms embargo and additional sanctions on South Sudan, which its major ally the United States wants to impose, Japanese media reported on Wednesday.

UN Security Council votes to send observers to Aleppo

The UN Security Council voted unanimously Monday for a compromise measure to send observers to the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo.

We will abide by deal if others do, Rowhani tells UN nuclear watchdog

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Sunday assured the head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog that Iran would continue to fulfil its obligations under a nuclear deal with six major powers.

Failures over Syria, South Sudan weigh on outgoing UN chief

The international community's failure to stop the bloodshed in Syria, the risk of genocide in South Sudan and the fear that the Paris climate agreement might not be implemented weighed on outgoing UN chief Ban Ki-moon as he considered his legacy on Friday.

UN Security Council drops reference to LGBT rights in tribute to Ban

The UN Security Council dropped a reference to outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's work on promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights after an objection by Russia.

UN sounds alarm over horrors suffered by migrants detained in Libya

The breakdown of the Libyan justice system has left migrants in Libya facing torture, rape, slavery and death, the United Nations said in a report that urged the Libyan government to reform its detention centres.

UN warns of executions as Syrian regime closes in on Aleppo enclave

The United Nations warned on Tuesday that it had received reports of dozens of extrajudicial executions by Syrian government forces in eastern Aleppo, amid appeals for protection of civilians.

NGO accuses UN health rapporteur of overstepping his authority

"In the name of the family" association has issued a strongly-worded statement criticising UN's special rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Puras, for having overstepped his authority in his comment on a state of affairs in Croatia.

Russia blocks UN resolution for ceasefire in Aleppo

Russia blocks a resolution in the UN Security Council for a one-week ceasefire in the hard-fought northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

UN tribunal enters final stage of Ratko Mladic's genocide trial

The long-running genocide trial of former Serb general Ratko Mladic over his role in the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica has entered its final stage.

Russia: Syria peace talks blocked by those seeking al-Assad's ouster

Syrian peace talks are being blocked by those seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad in violation of a United Nations resolution, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

UN expert: Torture widespread after Turkey coup, overcrowded jails

Torture and abuse were "widespread" in Turkey in the immediate aftermath of the failed coup attempt in July, a UN expert warned on Friday while cautioning that prisons and police holding cells were overcrowded.

UN: 926 civilians killed in month of "staggering" violence in Iraq

A total of 926 civilians were among 2,885 Iraqis killed due to terrorism, violence and armed conflict in the country last month, a United Nations team reported Thursday.

UN Security Council tightens sanctions on North Korea

The UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution tightening sanctions on North Korea on Wednesday in response to the country's latest nuclear test conducted in September.

27,000 displaced as Syrian regime moves on east Aleppo, watchdog says

Some 27,000 people have been displaced by the Syrian government advance on eastern Aleppo, a monitoring group said on Tuesday, as local rescuers reported that 25 people were killed in an airstrike while seeking safety.

More than 500,000 internally displaced in Afghanistan, UN says

Conflict across Afghanistan has forced more than 500,000 people to leave their homes in 2016, the highest number on record for the country, a UN report said Monday.

UN warns Turkey law could be an "amnesty" for child abusers

A proposed law in Turkey would be a "type of amnesty for child abuse perpetrators," the United Nations warned on Monday, saying the bill would end up hampering the fight against underage marriages.

Millions more access HIV treatment, but young women remain vulnerable

The number of people around the world receiving treatment for HIV has doubled in five years, the UN HIV/AIDS programme UNAIDS said on Monday.

Leaders of divided Cyprus aim for breakthrough in peace talks

The Greek and Turkish leaders of Cyprus negotiated territorial questions in Switzerland on Monday, tackling one of the last issues that must be solved to create a federal country on the divided island, Cyprus broadcaster RIK reported.

UN warns of human rights abuses in Myanmar's Rakhine conflict

Aid needs to be allowed into Myanmar's Rakhine state, an area that has become a sealed-off conflict zone, warned the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Friday as it expressed serious concern about the humanitarian situation there. 

Local authorities in South Sudanese state allege ethnic killings

Local authorities in South Sudan's Yei River State on Friday reported the killing of 11 people because of their ethnicity, following a UN warning that the country's civil conflict could escalate into genocide.

47 countries commit to end fossil fuels production at Morocco talks

Forty-seven countries that are the most vulnerable to climate change on Friday pledged to switch their energy production as quickly as possible to renewable sources.

US businesses call on Trump to continue climate action

Hundreds of businesses and investors on Wednesday called on US president-elect Donald Trump to support policies to fight climate change and implement a global agreement adopted last year in Paris.

Syria food production drops to all-time low, UN agencies report

Food production in Syria has fallen to a record low, exacerbating the country's hunger crisis, two UN agencies with a focus on nutrition said Tuesday.

Global carbon emissions stabilizing due to US, China, researchers say

Global carbon emissions have remained largely steady for the past three years, even while economies have grown, scientists said in a study published Monday.

UN: Islamic State hangs bodies of 40 executed civilians in Mosul

Islamic State reportedly shot dead 40 civilians this week and hung their bodies from electricity poles in the militant organization's stronghold of Mosul in northern Iraq, the United Nations said Friday.

UN: Food runs out for 250,000 trapped in east Aleppo

A quarter of a million Syrians in the besieged eastern part of Aleppo are at risk of starving as the last aid rations were distributed on Thursday, senior UN advisor Jan Egeland said in Geneva.

IAEA: Iran edges above a limit set by nuclear deal

Iran has been slightly exceeding one of the limits agreed to under its deal with world powers to curb its nuclear programme, international nuclear inspectors said Wednesday.

Inzko says Bosnian Serb authorities undermining Bosnia's sovereignty

The international community's High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Valentin Inzko, says in a report presented to the UN Security Council on Tuesday that the authorities of Republika Srpska (RS), the Bosnian Serb entity, undermine BiH's sovereignty and pose a direct threat to peace and security, and called for action against those breaching the Dayton peace agreement.

Developing countries hit hard by extreme weather events

Developing countries have been more affected by extreme weather events than industrialized countries, underscoring their vulnerability to climate change, a study released Tuesday showed.

COP22 climate talks begin: "We must be spurred on by action"

UN climate talks began Monday in Marrakesh, where leaders called on negotiators to ensure that the global accord on climate change reached in Paris is enacted swiftly.

Climate accord goes into effect in "historic day for the planet"

An agreement to limit global temperature rise caused by greenhouse gas emissions to below 2 degrees, adopted during a UN summit in Paris last year, entered into force on Friday.

Over 600,000 children in Haiti dependent on aid after hurricane

More than 600,000 children in Haiti are dependent on humanitarian aid, UNICEF said Friday, one month after Hurricane Matthew pounded the Caribbean island nation.

Kenya pulls peacekeeping troops from South Sudan after UN criticism

Kenya said Wednesday it would pull its peacekeeping troops out of South Sudan after the UN criticized a Kenyan-led troop of peacekeepers in the war-torn country for allegedly failing to protect civilians during an outbreak of violence in July.

UN cuts back Aleppo staffing after office fired upon by tanks

The UN has decided to reduce its staff in Aleppo, after its offices in the government-held west of the city were fired upon by tanks, a spokesman told dpa on Tuesday.

UN chief urges South Africa to reconsider decision on leaving ICC

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged South African President Jacob Zuma to reconsider his country's decision to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Yemen's exiled president rejects UN peace plan

Yemen's internationally recognized President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi on Saturday rejected a UN plan aimed at ending the war.

Russia loses re-election bid for UN Human Rights Council

Russia failed to gather enough votes at the UN General Assembly on Friday to be elected to serve a further three-year term on the UN Human Rights Council, losing its re-election bid to Hungary and Croatia.

UN: Islamic State using tens of thousands as human shields in Mosul

Islamic State militants are using tens of thousands of people as human shields in and around the extremist group's stronghold of Mosul as Iraqi forces press forward with a major offensive to retake the northern city, the United Nations said Friday.

US abstains for first time from UN vote condemning Cuban embargo

The United States abstained for the first time in 24 years from a vote in the UN General Assembly urging an end to Washington's embargo on Cuba on Wednesday.

HRW decries Russia and Saudi Arabia's candidacy for UN rights body

Russia and Saudi Arabia's re-election to serve on the UN Human Rights Council would undermine the body's credibility due to the poor human rights track records of the two countries, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

Expert: UN avoiding responsibility for Haiti cholera is a "disgrace"

The reluctance of the United Nations to accept responsibility for allegedly causing the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti was a "deeply flawed" approach and a "disgrace," a UN human rights expert said Tuesday.

Afghan opium production up sharply, says UN report

Afghanistan's opium production has risen sharply this year in comparison to last, according to an executive summary of the country's official opium survey released Sunday.

Syria accused of third chemical weapons attack

UN monitors have concluded that the Syrian regime used chlorine gas in a third chemical weapons attack last year, drawing international condemnation on Saturday.

UN opens investigation into September attack on aid convoy in Syria

The United Nations Friday announced an investigation into an attack on a UN aid convoy in Syria last month which killed an aid worker and 20 civilians.

UN report blames Congo authorities for 48 deaths at recent protests

Congo's security forces killed at least 48 people during three days of protests in September in Kinshasa, a UN report said Friday.

UN rights body pressures Syria, Russia with Aleppo war crimes probe

The UN Human Rights Council decided Friday to launch an investigation into war crimes against civilians in Aleppo, putting pressure on the Syrian government and its ally, Russia, which have been bombarding the Syrian city.

More than 800,000 facing "alarming" food insecurity in Madagascar

About 840,000 people are facing “alarming levels” of food insecurity in southern Madagascar, United Nations agencies warned Thursday.

Israeli ambassador wants UN to cut funding for human rights group

Israeli UN ambassador Danny Danon called on the UN Security Council Wednesday to suspend UN funding to the B'Tselem human rights group, which had testified at a special meeting of the council on Israeli settlements last week.

At least 11 killed during rebel attack on refugee camp in CAR

Members of the largely Muslim Seleka rebel group killed at least eleven people in a refugee camp in the volatile Central African Republic, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in CAR (Minusca) said Saturday.

Obama: Emissions agreement addresses "rapidly growing threat"

US President Barack Obama welcomes a global agreement to phase out a type of greenhouse gas used in air conditioners and refrigerators that "represents a rapidly growing threat to the health of our planet."

Global deal reached to limit use of potent greenhouse gases

Climate change negotiators from more than 170 nations agreed Saturday to begin limiting heat-trapping greenhouse gases known as HFCs, often used in air conditioners and refrigerators.

UN General Assembly appoints Antonio Guterres as next UN chief

Former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres is set to start a five-year term as UN secretary general in January after the UN General Assembly formally approved him for the job on Thursday.