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Former Haitian leader must face charges for human rights abuses, says UN

The United Nations today voiced its concern at reports that former Haitian President Jean-Claude Duvalier may not face charges relating to the serious human rights violations that took place during his 15-year rule, while stressing that justice must be ensured for the victims.

UN scales up food assistance for more than 80,000 people in South Sudan

The United Nations World Food Programme announced today that it will scale up its assistance to reach 80,000 people affected by the recent escalation of ethnic violence in South Sudan’s Jonglei state.

Mediterranean the deadliest sea for refugees and migrants, says UN agency

The Mediterranean Sea has become the deadliest stretch of water in the world for migrants and refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported today.

Sri Lanka: UN agency funds irrigation improvement projects

The United Nations fund tasked with promoting rural development will provide a $22-million loan to Sri Lanka to finance the improvement of the South Asian country’s irrigation infrastructure and crop diversification, as well as projects to expand market opportunities for smallholder farmers.

Reform of green institutions ‘imperative’ for sustainable development – Assembly chief

Reform of environmental institutions is needed so countries can achieve sustainable development, the President of the General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser said today, and stressed that States must prepare and contribute to this reform ahead of the major United Nations Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) in June.

UNESCO chief condemns latest murder of journalist in Somalia

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with promoting and defending the freedom of the press today condemned the murder of a journalist in Somalia and called for measures to improve the safety of media professionals in the Horn of Africa country.

Ban encourages Jordan and Arab neighbours to continue with reforms

The Arab world has a “generational opportunity” to create a future it deserves, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today during a visit to Jordan, voicing his support for ongoing reforms in the country and the region.

UN certifies that new camp for Iranian exiles meets international standards

United Nations refugee and human rights officials said today that they have confirmed that the infrastructure and facilities at a new camp in Iraq for residents of the settlement formerly known as Camp Ashraf meet international standards, as stipulated in last month’s agreement on voluntary relocation between the UN and the Iraqi Government.

Security Council debates situation in Syria

The Security Council this afternoon began debate on the situation in Syria, where thousands of people have been killed over the past 10 months in a Government crackdown against a popular uprising.

UN launches information system to boost disaster prevention, food security measures

The United Nations launched today an information system to improve and expand the exchange of weather, climate and water data, which can be used for disaster risk reduction, water management, food security and health purposes.