UN refugee agency steps up activities along Colombian-Venezuelan border

To meet the needs of a growing number of Colombian refugees arriving in Venezuela after fleeing violence and threats, United Nations refugee agency is stepping up its intervention along the border.

UN-Real Madrid agreement helps refugee children in Panama

An agreement between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Real Madrid Foundation has paved the way for nearly a dozen refugee children to attend school and sports activities in Panama.

Fresh violence forces locals to flee Colombia’s Arauca region, UN reports

Violence between guerilla groups in Colombia has forced approximately 1,000 people to flee the eastern Arauca region over the past year and a half, the United Nations refugee agency reports.

UN food agency signs agreement to help indigenous communities in Ecuador

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has signed a deal, lasting until the year 2010, to aid indigenous communities which live isolated from the modern world and were relatively unknown until recently in Ecuador’s northern border region.

Ban Ki-moon says UN ready to support democratic initiatives in Bolivia

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that he is “following with interest” the process Bolivia is undergoing to bolster democracy and pledged the world body’s full support in this endeavour.

Secretary-General meets with US Congressional leaders

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is meeting today in Washington with leaders of the United States Congress on issues of mutual interest to the country and the world body.

More aid needed to help Andean nations contain drug problem – UN

While coca cultivation in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia dropped in 2006, all three Andean nations require more development assistance if progress in containing the drug problem is to continue, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a report issued today.

Haiti: Wanted gang member dies after opening fire during attempted arrest – UN

An alleged leading gang member wanted by both the Haitian National Police and the French authorities for serious crimes died this morning after he opened fire on forces trying to detain him, according to the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which participated in the operation.

Crime and inequality still holding back Central America – Ban Ki-moon

Twenty years after a landmark peace process helped end decades of conflict across Central America, the region has posted impressive gains but still faces daunting challenges that include deep income inequality and persistent crime, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

Brazilian students win top prize in UN film competition

Nine Brazilian students have been recognized by the United Nations for a short film they produced on violence in their country and beyond.