Iceland issues call at UN for poorer countries to harness potential of geothermal energy

Geothermal energy could answer a substantial part of the energy demands of many poorer countries, Iceland’s Foreign Minister said today, telling United Nations Member States that it was time to consider initiatives to transfer expertise and financing to those nations in need.

Cyprus settlement could foster peace in wider region, Turkish leader tells UN

Reaching a “just and lasting settlement” on divisions between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots could propel peace and stability in the greater region, Turkey’s President told the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate today.

Ukraine to host UN-backed forum marking Chernobyl anniversary

Ukraine will host a high-level United Nations-backed conference next year to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident and assess the progress towards restoring and normalizing life in the region affected by the disaster.

Albanian leader, addressing UN, calls for greater international recognition of Kosovo

Albania’s President today appealed to United Nations Member States to recognize the independence of Kosovo, saying such a move would help promote peace and stability in the Balkans.

Greater efforts needed to achieve gender equality, Lithuania’s President tells UN

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite used her address to the United Nations today to call for much greater coordinated efforts to achieve global gender equality.

Georgian leader tells General Assembly of internal ‘iron curtain’

Georgia has had a “new Iron Curtain” running through it since conflict erupted in mid-2008 in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the country’s President told the General Assembly today, calling on Russia to withdraw its troops and change its policies.

UN agency calls on Greece to carry out urgently-needed asylum reform

The United Nations refugee agency today called on Greece to urgently reform its asylum system, stressing that this will go a long way in improving what it described as a “humanitarian crisis” for those seeking protection in the country.

Secretary-General reaffirms support for Cyprus reunification talks

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today met with Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and reaffirmed his support for the complex efforts by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in United Nations-backed talks aimed at reunifying the Mediterranean island.

Pristina and Belgrade must engage in constructive dialogue, Ban says

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the importance of constructive dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade.

Ban’s talks with European Commission chief centre on development targets

As the United Nations summit assessing progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) got under way today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discussed how to ensure that those eight anti-poverty targets are reached during talks with the head of the European Commission (EC).