Americas

UN-backed potato conference will help shape tomorrow’s tuber

With cereal prices soaring worldwide, an international conference opening today aims to tap the future food potential of the potato – which already produces more food on less land than maize, wheat or rice – as part of the United Nations International Year of the nutritious root.

Guatemala: UN rights expert warns against reinstating death penalty

An independent United Nations expert has called on Guatemalan lawmakers not to override the presidential veto of a decree that would reinstate the death penalty in a way that violates international human rights law.

Haiti: UN mission asks for public support in fight against rising crime

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti is calling on locals to cooperate with its troops and with members of the national police at roadblocks and other checkpoints being set up to try to combat widespread crime and insecurity.

Former Nicaraguan foreign minister set to be next General Assembly President

The former Nicaraguan foreign minister Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann is likely to become the next President of the General Assembly after the Latin American and Caribbean countries at the United Nations agreed to endorse his candidature, an Assembly spokesperson said today.

Bolivia: UN aid agencies say flood appeal remains under-funded

Less than a third of the $18 million sought by United Nations aid agencies last month following deadly floods across Bolivia has been received so far, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today, as the situation in the Andean nation keeps deteriorating.

Mexico: despite progress, much remains to be done for migrants, says UN rights expert

Mexico's ability to protect migrants' rights is one of “contrasts,” according to an independent United Nations human rights expert, who said that although the country has made steps towards addressing migrants' needs, much remains to be done.

Caribbean tsunami warning system to take step forward with UN-backed group

An independent tsunami early warning system for the Caribbean region, in place by 2010 at the latest, is likely to be a major step closer today when a United Nations-backed coordination group decides whether to give the go-ahead for a regional data-sharing system.

UN rushes aid to 60,000 flood-beleaguered Ecuadorians

United Nations agencies are rushing food, medicines and other assistance to Ecuador to assist tens of thousands of people in need after heavy rains have inundated much of the South American country.

Secretary-General welcomes summit further reducing Latin American tensions

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today applauded the outcome of this weekend’s Rio Group Summit, which ended with the further resolution of tensions between Colombia and Ecuador.

Vaccinations continue in Paraguay after yellow fever outbreak – UN agency

More than 1.27 million Paraguayans have now been vaccinated against the deadly outbreak of yellow fever in the South American country, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has reported.