Ban appoints Colombian to head UN-backed commission to tackle impunity in Guatemala

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appointed Iván Velásquez Gómez of Colombia to head the United Nations-backed commission charged with dismantling illegal armed groups and tackling impunity in Guatemala.

UN envoy tells Security Council overdue polls continue to hamper progress in Haiti

The ongoing electoral stalemate in Haiti, already linked to socio-economic grievances, could undermine the political and security situations, the new head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country said in her first briefing to the Security Council.

On International Day, UNESCO urges greater efforts to raise awareness about history of slave trade

Marking the anniversary of the first successful slave uprising in the Western hemisphere, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said today that telling the story of the slave trade was a crucial way to pay tribute to the freedom fighters and “honour their contributions to the affirmation of human rights.”

School meal programmes benefit children, support local farms in Latin America – UN study

School feeding programmes in Latin America are having a positive impact on children’s well-being and are fostering local development when food is sourced from family fa

UN independent expert calls on US to ban prolonged, indefinite solitary confinements

As nearly 200 inmates in California detention centres approach their fifth consecutive week on hunger strike against cruel, inhuman and degrading prison conditions, a United Nations right expert today urged the Government of the United States to abolish the use of prolonged or indefinite solitary confinement.

UN climate change body partners with Latin American bank to boost clean development efforts

The United Nations climate change secretariat has signed an agreement with the Latin American Development Bank to increase participation in clean development projects in the region, it was today announced.

International community must help Colombia recover from decades of conflict – UN official

Calling on the international community to help Colombia build on the “huge progress” made in recent years, a senior United Nations official today urged providing continued support to ensure the Latin American country fully recovers from decades of conflict.

UN official stresses the importance of protection of civilians, aid workers in conflict situations

On a visit to Brazil, the United Nations humanitarian chief honoured Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the esteemed Brazilian diplomat who was killed in 2003 while serving as the UN envoy for Iraq, and stressed the importance of protection of civilians and aid workers in conflict situations.

UN organizations in Haiti deeply concerned by rise in homophobic violence

The United Nations in Haiti today called on key political, religious and community leaders to inspire respect for rights and encourage restraint from expressions of hatred and contempt amid increase in homophobic violence in the country.

Latest killing raises UN concern about safety of journalists in Guatemala

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today voiced concern about the safety of journalists in Guatemala following the killing of a veteran radio personality in Zacapa.