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Egypt: UN human rights office voices concern at growing clampdown, attacks on media

Voicing deep concern about the growing threats and attacks on members of the media in Egypt, the United Nations human rights office today urged the authorities to investigate reports of violence against them and to promptly release all journalists imprisoned for carrying out their legitimate activities.

In wake of unrest, UN welcomes dialogue between Ukrainian President and opposition

The United Nations human rights office today welcomed the start of dialogue between President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition in Ukraine following weeks of violent unrest, as well as the abolition this week of laws restricting the exercise of fundamental rights.

‘No progress to speak of’ as first round of UN-sponsored Syrian peace talks ends

Syrian Government and opposition delegates today wrapped up what United Nations officials hope will be just the first stage of talks to end the country’s civil war, with the chief mediator reporting no breakthrough to stop the “unspeakable suffering” of the Syrian people, including access for humanitarian aid.

Amid escalating tensions, UN’s Somalia envoy urges calm in Baidoa

The top United Nations envoy in Somalia today voiced his concern over escalating tensions in Baidoa surrounding a federal State-building conference, calling for calm and dialogue by all parties as they address legitimate concerns.

Protecting South Sudan’s internally displaced must be priority, says UN rights expert

The congestion at United Nations bases in South Sudan has started to create risks for the 85,000 displaced civilians seeking shelter there, but they must not be forced or induced to leave, a United Nations independent human rights expert today warned.

Former New York Mayor Bloomberg named Ban’s envoy for cities and climate change

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change to galvanize urban action to reduce greenhouse emissions ahead of the United Nations climate summit this coming September.

Ahead of the Sochi games, Ban calls for observance of Olympic Truce

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for the observance of the Olympic Truce, calling on everyone engaged in armed hostilities to lay down their weapons and cease hostilities.

UN official urges halt to displacement of Palestinians as Israel continues demolitions

A senior United Nations relief official today called for a halt to the displacement of Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, after 66 people, including 36 children, were uprooted in the latest round of Israeli demolitions in the area.

DR Congo: amid military gains, root causes of violence must be addressed, says UN official

An action plan to stabilize the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has made important progress thanks to the support United Nations peacekeepers have given the Congolese army in the fight against rebel groups, but military means alone are not the solution, a top UN official said today.

Central African Republic: UN calls on donors to close massive funding gap

Unless additional funding is secured for the Central African Republic (CAR), nearly two million desperate people will be forced to go without food and basic necessities, the United Nations said today, as regional leaders attending an African Union summit in Ethiopia discuss ways to stop the ongoing fighting.