UN report spotlights ways to reduce potential devastation of natural disasters

As the frequency of natural disasters rises, along with the number of people around the world whose lives and homes are at serious risk, the United Nations has launched a report highlighting 100 examples of how people are taking steps to make their communities less vulnerable when a catastrophe strikes.

Bolivia: Annan urges calm during upcoming referendum on hydrocarbons law

As Bolivians gear up for Sunday's watershed referendum on the country's natural resources, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged calm and pledged the world body's help in resolving disputes there.

Annan chooses former political prisoner as his first Special Adviser on genocide

Secretary-General Kofi Annan informed the United Nations Security Council today that he has chosen a human rights advocate, lawyer and former political prisoner from Argentina as his first Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide.

Former Chilean Foreign Minister appointed head of UN mission in Haiti

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has named former Chilean Foreign Minister Juan Gabriel Valdés as his Special Representative to Haiti and head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Caribbean country (MINUSTAH), a UN spokesperson announced today.

UN system responds to floods in Nicaragua

United Nations relief agencies are responding to humanitarian needs in Nicaragua after four weeks of heavy rains triggered mudslides and flooding, causing great damage in certain areas and creating an emergency.

UN agency reports new Colombian refugees arriving in Venezuela

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has a team in Venezuela's border state of Apure evaluating the humanitarian and protection needs of around 200 Colombians who fled fighting in their home country earlier this week.

Annan hails Caribbean Community as a model for regional cooperation

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is a model of how close cooperation can enhance economic growth and promote better relations among countries, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a message to CARICOM leaders meeting this week in Grenada.

Women's anti-discrimination panel kicks off session at UN with focus on Spain

Experts monitoring international compliance with the world's foremost treaty on women's rights have opened a three-week session at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

UN human rights expert urges Peru, US to protect health in any trade deal

As the United States and Peru negotiate a bilateral trade pact, a United Nations human rights expert has urged them to ensure any agreement includes public health safeguards so that essential drugs do not become unaffordable for millions of Peruvians.

UN agency calls for new approaches to fighting AIDS as infection rate increases

Despite an increase in funding to fight the worldwide spread of HIV/AIDS, last year's infection rate was the highest ever and radical and innovative approaches must be devised to reverse the expansion of the disease while the epidemic is at a crossroads, a new United Nations report says.