Haiti facing ‘silent’ food crisis with nearly half population hungry – UN agency

A “silent” food crisis is looming in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with over 3.8 million people – nearly half its total – suffering from hunger, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) warned today.

UN children’s agency rushes emergency supplies to frozen region in Peru

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is rushing emergency medicine, blankets and baby bodysuits to children in Puno, Peru, where thousands of young lives are in danger because of freezing temperatures.

UN mission calls on Guatemala to guarantee people’s security after violent rally

The United Nations mission in Guatemala has issued an urgent call to the Government to “guarantee the security of the population within the strict framework of respect for human rights” after violence erupted at a political rally yesterday.

UN agency welcomes new Venezuelan commission for refugee assistance

The United Nations refugee agency today lauded the Venezuelan government's decision to establish a National Commission to oversee and direct efforts to provide protection, legal aid and assistance to asylum seekers.

Colombia: Annan says communication from FARC-EP is 'positive'

Secretary-General Kofi Annan “has been informed of the communication of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) and considers it to be positive,” a spokesman for the United Nations said today.

Guatemala court decision on former leader accused of rights abuses concerns UN expert

A United Nations expert on the independence of judges and lawyers expressed "grave concern" today over the decision of Guatemala's Constitutional Court to allow a former President accused of committing serious human rights crimes during his tenure to run in presidential elections in November.

Top UN expert on indigenous people heading to Chile

The top United Nations expert on the human rights of indigenous people heads to Chile this Friday to kick off two weeks of meetings and discussions with government officials, civil society actors and indigenous community leaders.

Annan urgently appeals to Colombian rebel groups to release all kidnapped

On the second anniversary of the abduction of a former state governor in Colombia, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urgently appealed to rebel groups to release all those kidnapped and end the "inhumane practice."

Annan to meet Bush in Washington on Monday for wide-ranging talks

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan plans to travel to Washington on Monday to meet with United States President George W. Bush and his advisers for wide-ranging discussions, including Africa, which both are currently visiting, and on the Middle East.

United States: UN rights expert expresses alarm over military trial of detainees

A senior United Nations rights expert today expressed alarm over reports that six detainees may be brought to trial before a military commission by the United States Government, saying such "drastic measures to counter terrorism" are in defiance of the world body's resolutions.