Europe

FROM THE FIELD: Persons with disabilities bike towards sustainability

People with disabilities in Ukraine are contributing to the development of a network of environmentally friendly bicycle routes which are helping to protect unique local landscapes.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Cutting emissions, one bog at a time

Farmers and entrepreneurs in rural eastern Europe are helping to tackle climate change while boosting their livelihoods as a result of regenerating ancient wetland peat bogs.

‘At risk’ Mediterranean forests make ‘vital contributions’ to development

Between 2010 and 2015, forests around the Mediterranean have expanded by two per cent, but that has come at the price of significant degradation and increasing vulnerability to climate change, population pressures, wildfires and water scarcity, warned a new UN report launched on Tuesday.

UN urges Russia and Ukraine to step away from further confrontation at sea

An “immediate de-escalation” of tensions is needed in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, the United Nations top political official has said, underlining the importance of “earnest attempts” to find a peaceful resolution to years of simmering conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Ukraine: Temperatures plunge amid rising humanitarian needs

Amidst an ongoing active conflict that seems to have fallen off the international community’s radar, temperatures in eastern Ukraine dropping well below zero and leaving millions are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, said the United Nations, calling for support.

Everyone’s ‘buy-in’ needed to restore peace in Kosovo, UN envoy tells Security Council

The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo have confirmed their “mutual intention” to continue working towards a negotiated settlement but the situation on the ground remains marred by “frequent adversarial actions,” with real consequences for people on the ground, a senior United Nations official told the Security Council on Wednesday.

UN experts concerned over racial bias in Dutch child welfare system

The Dutch authorities have been accused by UN experts of racism in the country’s welfare system, after seven children of African descent were forcibly removed from their parents.

‘Time is of the essence’ for refugees on Greek islands – UN agency

Authorities in Greece must take urgent steps to address the “abhorrent” humanitarian situation for around 11,000 asylum-seekers on the islands of Samos and Lesvos, the UN refugee agency warned on Tuesday.

Exercise ‘utmost restraint’ in eastern Ukraine to safeguard civilian life, top UN official urges fighters on the ground

After a lull in fighting in Ukraine over the summer, the last few weeks have seen a sharp rise in civilian deaths, more than half of which are due to landmines and explosive remnants of war, the United Nations top political official said on Tuesday.

French full-body veil ban, violated women’s freedom of religion: UN Human Rights Committee

Following complaints by two French Muslim women, fined for wearing a full-body veil or niqab, a UN Committee of independent human rights experts ruled in their favour on Tuesday, stating that their freedom to practice their religion had been infringed.