UN calls on Georgia and Abkhaz separatists to avoid escalation after deadly attacks

The United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) today called on the Government and Abkhaz separatists to cooperate “to prevent any escalation” after attacks killed three Abkhaz militia members in a region where fighting forced nearly 300,000 refugees to flee their homes14 years ago.

Envoy confident about efforts to determine final status of UN-run Kosovo

The top United Nations envoy in Kosovo today voiced confidence on reaching a decision on the final status of the Albanian-majority Serbian province that the world body has run since Western forces drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid ethnic fighting.

Netherlands give UNICEF largest single donation ever – over $200 million

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has received the single largest earmarked donation in its 60-year history – $201 million pledged by the Government of the Netherlands to radically expand the agency’s efforts to ensure that youngsters caught in conflict and natural disasters as well as those emerging from crisis can go to school.

UN mission in Georgia resumes joint patrols of Kodori Valley after break of 3 years

After a break of three years, the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) has resumed patrols of the 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.

Georgia: UN official praises new strategy to help internally displaced persons

A senior United Nations envoy for the rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) today praised Georgia’s new draft strategy for dealing with the problem, especially the right to return and to local integration, but stressed the need to see that the provisions are carried out.

Security Council hails outgoing UN leader’s efforts on Cyprus, extends mission there

The Security Council today extended for an additional six months the mandate of the 40-year old United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and praised the efforts of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who leaves office at the end of this month after 10 years at the world body’s helm, for his efforts to achieve a comprehensive solution.

UN refugee agency urges European Union to protect asylum-seekers

The United Nations refugee agency has called on Germany, which takes over the European Union (EU) presidency for six months beginning 1 January, to take early measures on key refugee protection issues.

UN war crimes prosecutor urges Security Council to keep pressure on Balkan fugitives

The Security Council must send a message to Radovan Karadžic and Ratko Mladic, the most notorious fugitives remaining from the Balkan wars of the 1990s, that, regardless of when they are arrested, they will face trial at the United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Tribunal’s Chief Prosecutor said today.

UN-backed group boosts environmental safeguards for Europe’s Carpathian region

The Carpathian region of Europe, a vast area of forests, streams and mountains that is home to brown bears, wolves, bison, lynx, imperial eagles and other globally threatened birds, received further protection at a United Nations-backed conference today with the adoption of immediate steps to promote environment-friendly tourism and conservation there.

UN envoy to Kosovo urges swift resolution of province’s permanent status

Resolving Kosovo’s future status as soon as possible would bring benefits to the entire Balkan region, while any further delays would only raise tensions and help the cause of extremists, the senior United Nations envoy to the province told the Security Council today.