Colombia: UN official seeks improved response to West’s worst humanitarian crisis

A senior United Nations relief official is in Colombia today for the start of an official visit, during which he will meet with senior government officials and look at ways to improve response to the Western Hemisphere’s worst humanitarian crisis.

To conserve world's oceans, underlying poverty and hunger must be solved - UN

With 47 per cent of fishing stock reaching maximum sustainable limits, 18 per cent overexploited and 10 per cent already depleted, conservation of the world's oceans can only be achieved if the larger problems of poverty, hunger and underdevelopment are adequately addressed, a United Nations agency warned today.

Annan receives humanitarian award, lauds those who help refugees

Behind the dry statistic of 50 million people worldwide having become refugees and internally displaced people are 50 million individuals, driven from their homes by war, persecution and human rights abuses, according to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Haiti's rising crime preventing humanitarian aid distribution, UN says

The rising crime rate in Haiti is restricting humanitarian aid distribution in the troubled Caribbean country, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.

Security Council's month to focus on Africa, Iraq, UN peacekeeping - President

The United Nations Security Council is set for a "busy" May, highlighted by two special debates on UN peacekeeping, and continued focus on the situations in a host of African nations - including Sudan - while giving "considerable attention" to Iraq, the President of the 15-member body said today.

14 elected to UN human rights commission

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) elected 14 countries today to serve on the Commission on Human Rights, the UN's highest forum for examining civil rights around the world.

Independence of media stressed as UN observes World Press Freedom Day

Eminent writers and reporters gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New York today to observe World Press Freedom Day, which Secretary-General Kofi Annan said provided an opportunity for everyone to reaffirm their commitment to the independence of the media and ensure that journalists are able to do their vital work in safety and without fear.

'Politics of fear' must be overcome by tolerance, Annan says

Calling the politics of fear, anger and intolerance one of the great dangers of our time, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today warned that such attitudes could lead to an artificial "clash of civilizations," in which people of different faiths and cultures perceive each other as enemies.