UN health agency warns El Niño may increase breeding grounds for mosquitoes spreading Zika

The above-average rainfall caused by El Niño that is expected in parts of South America until May could cause floods and increases in diseases spread by mosquitoes, including malaria and the Zika virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

In Brazil, UN health chief calls for better coordination in fight against Zika

Continuing efforts to bolster the international response to Zika, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan arrived today in the northeast of Brazil to visit the area most affected by neurological disorders suspected of being linked to the virus, including microcephaly in babies.

UN rights chief welcomes US President’s plan to close Guantánamo detention facility

The United Nations human rights chief today welcomed United States President Barack Obama’s plan to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility in Cuba, expressing hope that “no further obstacles are placed in the way of its implementation.”

New trust fund launched by UN and Colombian Government for peacebuilding needs

The United Nations and the Government of Colombia today announced the launch of a new multi-partner trust fund in the country’s capital, Bogotá, to respond to stabilization and peacebuilding needs.

Zika: UN health agency launches global response strategy; Member States briefed on outbreak

As World Health Organization officials briefed United Nations Member States in New York today on the Zika virus outbreak, the agency launched a global strategy to guide the international response to the spread of the virus and the neonatal malformations and neurological conditions associated with it.

Haiti: UN welcomes election of provisional President

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as the UN and its partners in Haiti, have welcomed the 14 February election by the Haitian National Assembly of Jocelerme Privert as the island nation's interim President, one week after the departure of former President Michel Martelly.

'Rise to the challenges' to shape a common future, UN chief tells McGill students

Humanitarian action must address the concerns of young people, who should be mobilized and empowered to effect lasting change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told students at McGill University in Montreal earlier today, as part of a three-day visit to Canada.

In Canada, Ban applauds country's commitment to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees

During his fifth visit to Canada as United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon today applauded the country's commitment to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees, stressing that they “deserve opportunity, human rights protection and peace.”

Haiti: UN agency says weather and drought to blame as food insecurity doubles

Haiti's third consecutive year of drought, exacerbated by the global El Niño weather phenomenon, has driven people deeper into poverty and hunger, and doubled the severely food-insecure population, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today.

Haiti: Ban welcomes agreement reached towards 'swift' conclusion of ongoing electoral cycle

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the agreement reached by Haitian stakeholders, noting that it provides for immediate arrangements to preserve the institutional continuity of the country as well as a roadmap for the swift conclusion of the ongoing electoral cycle.