Americas

UN calls Canada's pullout from drought convention 'regrettable'

The United Nations today said it was 'regrettable' that the Government of Canada is withdrawing from the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the only legally binding instrument that addresses desertification, land degradation and drought.

Brazil: UN experts voice concern over deprivation of liberty for detainees

A United Nations human rights panel visiting Brazil has raised concerns regarding what it called an “excessive use” of policies leading to the deprivation of liberty as well as a lack of effective legal assistance to persons arrested or detained in the South American nation.

Falkland Islands (Malvinas) dispute tops talks between Ban and Latin American officials

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Foreign Ministers of Argentina, Cuba, Peru and Uruguay discussed the issue of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) during their meeting today at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

In Guatemala, UNICEF chief urges increased nutrition and justice for children

Despite some achievements in improving living standards for children, Guatemala must increase access to nutrition as well as to justice for its youngest citizens or leave an entire generation at risk, the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today.

Reforms to Inter-American System must fully protect victims – UN rights chief

A United Nations senior official today stressed that reforms to the Inter-American System for protection of human rights must not weaken its capacity to protect victims.

Haiti must break political impasse to achieve progress, UN envoy tells Security Council

Breaking the political impasse that has plagued Haiti for some 16 months is crucial to achieve progress and consolidate democracy in the country, the head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country told the Security Council today.

Caribbean nations participate in UN-backed tsunami preparedness test

Caribbean nations are participating today in a full-scale tsunami alert exercise organized under United Nations auspices to test their reaction capacity.

UN human rights chief welcomes trial for Guatemalan genocide

The top United Nations human rights official has applauded the beginning of the “historic” trial of Guatemala’s former head of State and former head of intelligence who are both accused of crimes committed in the Central American nation over 30 years ago, and urged local authorities to ensure the execution of a fair and independent legal proceeding.

UN tourism agency welcomes Jamaica’s relaxation of visa policies for certain nationals

The United Nations tourism agency today welcomed the decision by the Government of Jamaica to relax visa regulations for tourists originating in a number of Eastern European countries, while also extending its current visa waiver system for some Latin American nationals.

US recreational cannabis use would violate international laws, UN anti-narcotics panel says

Implementing the decisions of popular votes held in the United States in Colorado and Washington to allow for the recreational use of cannabis would be a violation of international laws, the United Nations body tasked with monitoring the production and consumption of narcotics worldwide said today.