Europe

UN rights chief urges Libya, EU, to protect migrants crossing the central Mediterranean

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday urged Libya’s unity government and European Union (EU) countries to act to protect migrants making the dangerous crossing in the central Mediterranean Sea. 

Europe: COVID must spark rethink to prioritize ‘human lives’ over economic policies 

The devastating impact of COVID-19 serves as a stark reminder that the European Union must “put human lives” above economic policy considerations, that privilege competition between EU Member States, an independent UN human rights expert said on Friday. 

‘Disasters know no borders’ says Guterres, 35 years on from Chernobyl nuclear accident

In his message for Chernobyl International Remembrance Day on Monday, the UN chief reminded that “disasters know no borders”. 

UN-led aid convoy brings 23 tonnes of humanitarian goods across contact line in east Ukraine

Twenty-three tonnes of urgently needed aid items have reached the eastern Ukrainian province around Donetsk, after a humanitarian convoy crossed the contact line into non-Government-controlled territory, the UN said on Friday. 

EU must place social justice ‘at its core’ to lift people out of poverty

The European Union’s failure to lift 20 million people out of poverty by 2020, is “a defeat for social rights”, an independent UN human rights expert said on Friday, urging the bloc to boldly rethink its whole socio-economic approach.

UN refugee agency calls for ‘new chapter for refugee protection’ across Europe

As Portugal assumes the presidency of the European Union (EU), to be followed by Slovenia later this year, the UN refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Tuesday called on them to lead the effort to forge a better protection system for those seeking refuge across the continent and beyond.

Independent UN expert calls for Julian Assange’s release, cites prison’s COVID outbreak

Amid a COVID-19 outbreak at London’s Belmarsh prison, an independent UN expert appealed to British authorities on Tuesday to release Julian Assange or to place him under guarded house arrest during extradition proceedings to the United States.  

UN brings Cyprus leaders together, mulling future talks on divided island

The leaders of the divided island of Cyprus have met in the capital Nicosia, in an  encounter convened by the United Nations, the Secretary-General’s Good Offices Mission in Cyprus said on Tuesday.

Overturned verdict on Khashoggi murder a ‘parody of justice’ – independent UN rights expert

An independent UN human rights investigator called the overturned verdict of Saudi Arabia’s prosecutor in the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey a "parody of justice" that spared "high-level" plotters. 

Leaving No Roma behind during a pandemic, and beyond: a UN Resident Coordinator blog

Roma people in Europe face widespread discrimination in many areas of life, including housing and health. In this opinion piece, Francoise Jacob, the UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia, explains how the UN is helping Roma communities, many of which have no access to safe water or electricity, to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.