Senior UN refugee official meets Colombian asylum seekers in Ecuador

A senior official of the United Nations refugee agency is in Ecuador today continuing the second part of a week-long mission that began in Colombia, which has sent large numbers of asylum seekers to its South American neighbour.

Venezuela: Annan welcomes decision to have international observation of voting

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the decision by Venezuela's National Electoral Council to involve international observers in the search by government and opposition for a constitutional solution to the country's political stalemate.

Ministers adopt Declaration on small island developing States

Ministers and senior government officials meeting in Nassau, Bahamas, today adopted a Ministerial Declaration reaffirming the validity of the Barbados Programme of Action - a blueprint adopted 10 years ago for the sustainable development of small island developing States (SIDS).

UN official sees 'big potential' at small islands conference

A senior United Nations official today told a conference in the Bahamas on small island developing States (SIDS) that these nations, though facing a set of specific challenges, have a great contribution to make to the global community.

Senior official of UN refugee agency heads to Colombia for talks on humanitarian crisis

A senior United Nations refugee official is heading to South America this weekend for talks in Colombia on the growing humanitarian crisis there and its effects on neighbouring countries.

UN human rights experts appeal for end to political violence in Haiti

Two United Nations experts on human rights have expressed concern about the deterioration in human rights observance in Haiti since the start of recent violent confrontations between law enforcement officials, government supporters and government opponents.

UN agency to help Nicaraguan coffee growers hit by low world prices

Moving to aid small-scale Nicaraguan growers hit by the steep global drop in coffee prices, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced plans today to help feed those worst-affected while promoting longer-term crop diversification and the production of more competitive varieties.

Fréchette urges collective international response to emerging security threats

Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette today made a strong case for the ability of the United Nations to evolve, while stressing the need for a strengthened collective response to emerging security threats.

Joblessness in Latin America shows need for fairer globalization - UN

With 19 million workers jobless in Latin America's cities and unemployment hovering at above 10 per cent despite a modest economic recovery in 2003, the United Nations labour agency today called for a reorientation of economic priorities and a more equitable globalization process.

UN and Guatemala sign landmark agreement in bid to curb illegal and secret groups

The United Nations and Guatemala signed a landmark agreement today to set up an investigative panel on illegal groups and secret security organizations in the country, giving the UN - for the first time - prosecutorial powers to work within the justice system of one of its Member States.