UN refugee agency commends Georgian step to protect stateless people

The United Nations refugee agency today welcomed Georgia’s accession to a landmark global treaty that aims to protect the estimated 12 million people worldwide who are stateless – displaced persons with no citizenship status with any country.

Secretary-General mourns passing of former Czech leader Vaclav Havel

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his deep sadness at the passing of Vaclav Havel, the former president of the Czech Republic, who died on Sunday.

Turkey can play vital role in humanitarian affairs – UN official

Turkey’s role in humanitarian affairs is rapidly growing and has become vital for the international community, the United Nations relief chief said today, calling for stronger partnerships between the country and international organizations to provide assistance to people who have been affected by emergencies around the world.

UN tribunal charges former Serb official with contempt for refusal to testify

The United Nations war crimes tribunal for the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s today charged a former Serb municipal official with contempt of court for failing to comply with orders to testify in the trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžic who faces multiple genocide charges.

UN peacekeeping force to stay in Cyprus for another seven months

The Security Council today decided to extend the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus until 19 July 2012, and called on the leadership of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities to accelerate the pace of talks aimed at reunification.

Albania must boost efforts to protect rights of domestic, foreign migrants – UN expert

A United Nations human rights expert today urged Albania to step up its efforts to protect the rights of its citizens living abroad as well as foreigners arriving to the country who are vulnerable to exploitation.

UN agency tackles potential nuclear threat at European soccer championships

When the 2012 European soccer championships kick off in Poland and Ukraine next June, the United Nations atomic energy will be centrefield offering its expertise to guarantee the safety of the tournament’s spectators and participants.

UN tribunal jails Bosnian Serb for refusing to testify in genocide trial

The United Nations war crimes tribunal for the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s today sentenced a former security and intelligence officer in the Bosnian Serb armed forces to three months in prison for refusing to testify in the genocide trial of his commander.

UN enhancing cooperation with regional blocs to improve crisis response – Ban

Regional organizations are often better placed to detect potential crises early and to mobilize a coordinated international response, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, noting that the United Nations has strengthened or established conflict prevention and mediation partnerships with such blocs over the past five years.

UN chief welcomes resumption of dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the resumption of the European Union-facilitated dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, saying he is encouraged by the adoption of the agreement on border controls reached last week.