General Assembly approves plan to speed up UN Headquarters renovation

The General Assembly has approved a series of proposals to speed up the much-need renovation of the United Nations Headquarters complex, a move welcomed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who said the project could now be completed sooner and with less risk to staff and visitors.

UN working to win release of detained staff member in Brazil

The United Nations team in Brazil is working with the country’s Government to secure the release of a UN staffer who has been detained after travelling to meet indigenous persons at a reserve in Rondonia state.

Top UN official praises Brazil’s human rights achievements

During a three-day visit to Brazil that wrapped up yesterday, the top United Nations human rights official praised the South American country’s recent accomplishments in that realm but pointed out that other obstacles remain.

Assembly President and Honduran official discuss economic and social reforms

The recent social and economic reforms in Honduras and its Government’s efforts to uphold human rights topped the agenda during talks between General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim and the Central American country’s Foreign Minister.

UN tour guides hold sick-day labour action

Nearly two dozen United Nations tour guides called in sick today in a labour action which added impetus to a previously planned meeting convened this afternoon by the world body’s top public information official to address their concerns.

Honduras: UN human rights expert warns on threats to freedom of expression

Honduran journalists, media owners and many members of civil society face a climate of “rampant insecurity” that includes the threat of assassination, pressure from organized crime and widespread impunity for those who carry out violent acts against them, an independent United Nations human rights expert today.

UN expert invited to observe military commission hearings at Guantanamo Bay

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism today announced that he will attend, at the invitation of the United States Government, military commission hearings scheduled to commence on Wednesday at Guantanamo Bay.

Constitutional reform planned for Venezuela alarms UN human rights experts

Three independent United Nations human rights experts today voiced concern about planned constitutional reforms in Venezuela, saying the proposed changes could curb civil liberties and breach the South American country’s international treaty commitments.

Colombia must sustain recent steps on human rights, development – Ban Ki-moon

Colombia has taken encouraging steps towards establishing peace and security across the country but these measures must be sustained and reinforced over the next few years if they are to have any lasting effect in the Latin American country, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

Abductions and killings of children in Haiti denounced by UNICEF

Condemning a recent spate of kidnappings and assassinations carried out against children in Haiti, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called for action to bring the perpetrators to justice.