Environmental disaster looms in Ukraine unless urgent steps are taken – UN report

Immediate action is needed to avert an environmental disaster in western Ukraine where toxic materials from former mines could spread into the area and threaten the health of local communities, according to the report of a joint United Nations-European Union mission of experts.

UN official urges European Union to set good example in refugee protection

The head of the United Nations refugee agency has urged European Union (EU) members to serve as examples of the proper treatment of refugees and to forge a cohesive regional response to new forms of forced displacement, including population movement caused by the effects of climate change.

Cyprus: UN envoy says negotiations should start where they ended

Negotiations on the unification of Cyprus should continue where they left off, the United Nations envoy tasked with steering the talks said today as he made his first public remarks since the election of a new Turkish Cypriot leader.

Ban stresses need to revive areas affected by Chernobyl disaster

Marking the 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster – which exposed more than 8 million people in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia to radiation – today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated his commitment to reviving sections of the three nations still coping with the catastrophe.

Kosovo: UN envoy condemns stone-throwing against returnees

The top United Nations envoy to Kosovo today voiced his concern over stone-throwing against people returning to a town in the east, urging dialogue between the ethnic Serb and Albanian communities “that must live side by side.”

UN agreement to allow people to check local pollution online

A United Nations-backed group on pollution registration – which allows European to find out about sources of pollution in their neighbourhoods – has wrapped up its first meeting in Geneva.

Icelandic volcano spotlights need for global disaster risk reduction plans – UN official

The recent eruption of a volcano in Iceland, which grounded flights in Europe for nearly one week, has exposed the world’s vulnerability to such disruptive events and underscored the need for global plans to minimize fallouts in the future, a top United Nations official said today.

Global support vital for UN conciliation role in Kosovo, Ban says

The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) “remains uniquely placed” to facilitate dialogue between the communities more than two years after Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in his latest report on the issue as he calls for ongoing international support for the operation.

Icelandic volcano poses no health threat beyond immediate vicinity, UN agency says

While eruptions from the Icelandic volcano that have disrupted global air travel have recently ejected less ash, that could change at any time, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned today.

UN expert hails proposed Government-indigenous talks in Nordic States

European Nordic Governments agreed in principle today to restart talks on a convention with the Sami people in a move hailed by a United Nations human rights expert as potentially enhancing indigenous rights and self-determination.