Quake spotlights room for Turkey to improve building practices – UN official

The deadly earthquake that has struck Turkey’s southeast highlights the importance of providing incentives for the construction of safe buildings and establishing preventive and response measures in the world’s most dangerous quake zones, a senior United Nations official said today.

Ban voices sympathy, offers UN help after deadly quake in Turkey

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and destruction in Sunday's earthquake in eastern Turkey and pledged the readiness of the United Nations to assist if requested.

Ban welcomes Basque group ETA’s decision to end armed campaign

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the announcement by the Basque separatist group ETA that it would end its protracted campaign of violence.

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders meet ahead of talks with UN chief

The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities today discussed questions about the executive and citizenship as they held their last meeting before their encounter with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York at the end of this month.

Veteran war crimes jurist elected President of UN tribunal for Balkans conflicts

Judge Theodor Meron of the United States, a veteran jurist with long experience in dealing with war crimes and international law, was today elected to his second term as President of the United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Ban urges Europe to forge common agenda against global inequality

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on European countries today to unite in tackling the world’s most looming issues and work together to ensure the prosperity of future generations.

In Switzerland, Ban sees impact of decreasing glaciers

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today took a helicopter flight over the Swiss city of Bern to observe the decreasing volume of the country's glaciers and later exchanged views with President Micheline Calmy-Rey on sustainable development and the forthcoming United Nations conference on climate change in South Africa.

Turkey must do more to ensure independent, impartial judiciary – UN rights expert

A United Nations human rights expert today commended Turkish authorities for placing the protection and promotion of human rights high on their agenda, while calling for further steps to guarantee an independent and impartial judicial system.

Finland to host 2012 talks on setting up nuclear-weapon-free zone in Middle East

Finland will host the conference to be held next year on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, it was announced today at the United Nations.

Europe’s vulnerability to natural disasters quickly rising – UN agency

The number of natural hazards taking place in Europe increased significantly last year, the United Nations disaster risk reduction agency says, warning that the region’s governments need to implement prevention platforms to significantly reduce the danger they pose to their populations.