UN human rights experts urge greater oversight of private security firms in Honduras

A group of United Nations independent experts back from Honduras today urged that Government to tighten oversight of the increasing number of private security companies, as well as to strengthen the judicial system to properly investigate and prosecute potential human rights violations stemming from land-rights disputes.

Haiti must ensure justice for victims of past human rights violations – UN official

A senior United Nations official today urged Haiti to ensure there is no impunity for human rights violations committed during the presidency of Jean-Claude Duvalier, who is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

UNESCO chief calls for investigation into murder of Paraguayan radio broadcaster

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today called for an investigation into the murder of Marcelino Vázquez, the owner and manager of a radio station in Paraguay.

Haiti: fight against cholera continues, but claims against UN ‘not receivable’

The United Nations has ramped up its efforts to eliminate cholera in Haiti. At the same time, claims against the Organization on that matter are “not receivable,” a spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, after officials in the Caribbean nation were informed of the decision.

UN kicks off ‘Year of Quinoa’ with focus on world nutrition

Top officials from the United Nations and the Andean community of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru today launched the ‘International Year of Quinoa’ to raise awareness of the nutritional, economic, environmental and cultural value of a food that has been traditionally cultivated for thousands of years.

UN experts urge US Congress to renew Violence Against Women Act

Two United Nations experts today urged the United States House of Representatives to approve a revised bill which strengthens the legal options for female victims of violence and sexual abuse, and extends protections to indigenous, immigrant and gay victims.

Haiti: UN envoy suggests steps to end political impasse

The United Nations envoy in Haiti today voiced concern at the ongoing impasse in Haiti over the long-delayed elections and outlined several priorities to move the process forward.

Venezuela must release judge who suffered sexual violence in jail – UN experts

A group of United Nations experts today urged Venezuela to immediately release Judge María Lourdes Afiuni, who has been in detention for the past three years and was the victim of sexual violence and aggression during the time she was incarcerated.

Global hotspots top agenda as UN chief meets with new US Secretary of State

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary of State John Kerry held talks in Washington D.C. today on a range of issues, including Syria, Mali and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the United Nations chief stressing the importance of United States leadership in tackling global challenges.

Ban calls for stronger ties between UN and Organization of American States

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for increased cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS), stressing that the Americas have much experience and knowledge to contribute to the world.