UN children rights expert gives Ukraine mixed report on a new protection model

Ukraine needs to substantially revamp its approach to protecting children or face serious negative consequences for future generations, an independent United Nations children’s rights expert said in a statement after a six-day visit at the month’s end.

Russian expulsion of Uzbek national violates refugee principle, UN agency says

Russia’s expulsion of an Uzbek national back to his homeland breaches the principle of ‘non-refoulement’ under which no refugee or asylum seeker whose case has not yet been properly assessed can be forcibly returned to a country where their life or liberty could be in danger, the United Nations refugee agency said today.

Game hunters in Cyprus, beware! Do not enter UN-monitored buffer zone

With the four-month game hunting season opening in Cyprus on Sunday, the United Nations mission there today warned hunters to avoid the 180-kilometre-long buffer zone it monitors between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots so as not to draw fire from either of the opposing forces.

Georgia: UN mission probes reported rocket attack near Government-Abkhaz lines

The United Nations mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) is investigating reports of a rocket attack in the vicinity of the village of Azhara in the Upper Kodori Valley in the north-west of the country, where fighting between the Government and Abkhaz separatists 14 years ago forced nearly 300,000 refugees to flee their homes.

Turkey makes progress on detention procedures, but not for terror suspects – UN experts

Despite strengthened safeguards against arbitrary detention in Turkey’s criminal justice system stemming from new laws enacted last year, the situation of terrorist suspects who have been detained for up to 13 years without being found guilty is “most disturbing,” according to United Nations experts.

Child poverty in South-East Europe, Central Asia clouds region’s future – UN report

Although the number of children under 15 living in extreme poverty in South-Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States has dropped from 32 million to 18 million since the late ‘90s, governments must increase their health and education budgets to ensure regional prosperity, according to a United Nations report released today.

Kosovo: UN Goodwill Ambassador Kidman hears chronicles of violence against women

Visiting Kosovo on her inaugural trip as a Goodwill Ambassador with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), Nicole Kidman heard first-hand about the impact of gender-based violence and war, and said today that women must be central to any decisions reached during the current talks over the province’s final status.

Security Council extends mandate of UN mission in Georgia

Voicing concern about fresh tensions in the long-running dispute between Georgian authorities and Abkhaz separatists, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) by another six months.

Chechens and Azeris faced food aid cutoff, warns UN Special Rapporteur on food

Roughly 250,000 Chechens face a complete cut off of international food aid and 144,000 Azerbaijanis drastic food aid reduction by the end of the month unless donors come up with more money, a United Nations food expert warned today.

UNESCO chiefs adds voice to condemnation of murder of Russian reporter

The head of the United Nations body mandated to defend freedom of the press added his voice today to the chorus of condemnations over the killing of the well-known Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, whose recent reporting had focused primarily on Chechnya.