Annan applauds staging of international donors’ conference in Haiti

Welcoming today’s international donors’ conference for Haiti, Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on donors to give generously so that the impoverished Caribbean nation can rebuild its economy and infrastructure.

Americas must prepare for bird flu, UN agencies and partners urge in new drive

Though no cases of avian flu or its H5N1 virus have been reported yet in birds or humans anywhere in the Americas, United Nations health agencies and other partners today launched a new preparedness campaign for the disease, which they say could reach the hemisphere at any time and possibly mutate into a human pandemic.

Violence in Colombia traps scores of civilians, UN refugee agency says

The United Nations refugee agency today voiced concern about the fate of thousands of civilians are caught up in fighting and violence in two of Colombia's Pacific Coast departments, including scores who are trapped and unable to flee to safety.

UN offers aid to Ecuador as thousands evacuated after Tungurahua Volcano erupts

United Nations agencies are offering humanitarian assistance to the Government of Ecuador after Tungurahua Volcano erupted, spewing out pyroclastic flows, shooting ash six kilometres into the air and forcing more than 3,600 people from high-risk areas to be evacuated.

Three UN peacekeepers wounded in Haiti; mission beefs up street presence

As the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) geared up for a “strong and visible” presence on the streets of Port-au-Prince ahead of the birthday of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide this weekend, three peacekeepers have been wounded in the gang-ridden Cité Soleil neighbourhood of the capital city.

Annan welcomes US endorsement of Geneva Convention on prisoner treatment

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the United States Government’s decision to ensure that all its actions affecting alleged Al Qaida or Taliban militants comply with the standards of the Geneva Conventions, specifically Article 3 which mandates proper judicial procedures and bans humiliating and degrading treatment.

Colombia: UN agency voices renewed concern over mass displacements from conflict

Fighting between irregular armed groups in southern Colombia, threats and targeted killings of civilians are continuing to sow tension in a region where more than 9,000 people have been forced to flee their homes this year, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

UN human rights experts again call for closing of US detention centre in Guantánamo

Five independent United Nations human rights experts have renewed their call for the speedy closure of the United States detention centre at Guantánamo Bay, noting that it still holds more than 450 prisoners in breach of international human rights law five months after they first urged that it be shut.