Europe

UN tribunal sentences former Serb official to prison term for refusal to testify

The United Nations war crimes tribunal set up in the wake of the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s today sentenced a former municipal officer to two months in prison for refusing to testify in the trial of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžic.

General Assembly President discusses Syrian crisis with Turkish leader

General Assembly chief Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser reaffirmed the necessity of finding a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria as he discussed the latest developments there with Turkish President Abdullah Gül.

UN human rights office welcomes ruling on treatment of migrants at sea

The United Nations human rights office today added its voice in support of a European court ruling that found it is wrong for a country to collectively expel migrants intercepted on the high seas without first determining whether this would place their lives at risk.

UN expert urges dialogue after Latvia votes against Russian as official language

The United Nations independent expert on minority issues today encouraged the Government of Latvia to ensure protection of the rights of the country’s Russian-speaking minority and engage in dialogue with them after a proposal to recognize the language as an official tongue was rejected in a referendum.

Warning of destructive floods as Danube thaw sets in, UN urges better response

Destructive floods caused by the rapid thawing of the Danube River could add to the fatalities from an already harsh European winter, the head of the United Nations agency dealing with disaster risk reduction warned today.

Ban discusses reconciliation and regional issues with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister

The reconciliation process in Kyrgyzstan, regional cooperation on combating drug trafficking and peace efforts in Afghanistan were the focus of discussions between Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev when they met today in Vienna.

UN experts speak out against Hungarian law criminalizing homelessness

Two independent United Nations human rights experts today issued a joint call on Hungary to revise recent laws that criminalize homelessness and potentially imprison those living on the streets.

UN tribunal sets mid-May date for start of genocide trial of Ratko Mladic

The United Nations tribunal set up in the wake of the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s announced today that the trial of Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military chief who is facing charges of genocide and other war crimes, will begin on 14 May.

UN warns of unequal exposure to environmental health risks within Europe

One out of every five Europeans dies from environmentally-related diseases, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) warned today, noting that poorer citizens are more exposed to such risks than their wealthier peers.

UNESCO mourns passing of celebrated Danish artist Erik Reitzel

The head of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today paid tribute to the Danish artist and civil engineer Erik Reitzel, who has died at the age of 71, saying his art reinforced the Organization’s “commitment to serve the common good.”