Europe

Ban spotlights role of UN-OSCE partnership in addressing regional challenges

As civil conflicts, terrorism, illegal drug trafficking, a rise in divisive politics, and health crises such as Ebola continued to transcend borders and threaten millions of people worldwide, United Nations partnerships with regional organizations were ever more vital to deal with and adapt to such challenges, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today as he addressed the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, Austria.

UN chief hails Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst’s ‘powerful message’

As part of a visit to mark the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Vienna International Centre today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was among those treated to a performance by Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst, calling her win earlier this year an “electrifying moment of human rights education.”

UN rights expert urges reversal of UK decision to halt Mediterranean migrant rescues

The United Nations human rights expert on migrants today urged British authorities to reconsider a decision not to support search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea, saying allowing people to die at Europe’s borders just because of their administrative status “is appalling.”

UN study finds ‘substantial’ skills mismatch for European workers

Europe’s labour market is facing a “substantial” mismatch between supply and demand as a sizeable percentage of continental workers are currently over- or under- qualified for their jobs, a new United Nations study has found.

Ukraine: Ban deplores planned holding of November ‘elections’ by rebel groups

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today deplored the planned holding by armed rebel groups in eastern Ukraine of their own “elections” on 2 November, calling the potential polls a “breach of the constitution and national law.”

Amid uneasy ceasefire, Ukraine risks becoming ‘protracted’ conflict, UN officials warn

The simmering conflict in Ukraine continues to take lives and exacerbate already precarious humanitarian conditions in the country’s Eastern regions, two senior United Nations officials told the Security Council today, as they warned that the situation risks turning into a “protracted low-intensity conflict.”

Mediterranean, North Atlantic prepares for UN-backed tsunami warning system test

Some 20 nations with coastlines on the North Atlantic, and Mediterranean and Black Seas are set to participate in a United Nations-supervised tsunami warning exercise to improve their ability to respond to an alert and enhance regional coordination in the event of a disaster.

Malta must accelerate efforts towards preventing ill-treatment of detainees – UN experts

The Government of Malta has made strides towards preventing the torture and ill-treatment of people in detention, a group of independent United Nations rights experts confirmed today, but added that more needed to be done for the island nation to comply with its international obligations.

Eastern Ukraine conflict continues to take heavy toll on civilians, UN report warns

While the fragile month-long ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is a welcome step towards ending the conflict, armed groups continue to terrorize the population in areas under their control, pursuing killings, abductions, torture, ill-treatment and other serious abuses, the United Nations Human Rights Office said today as it released its latest report on the situation in the country.

Ukraine: UN chief 'disturbed' by death of aid worker, dangerous surge in fighting

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is “saddened and disturbed” to learn of the death of an international humanitarian aid worker, killed when a shell landed near the International Committee of the Red Cross Headquarters in eastern Ukraine on Thursday.