Europe

As Mediterranean death toll soars, Ban urges collective response to large refugee and migrant movements

At least 880 people appear to have died over the past week as their vessels capsized in the Mediterranean, bringing the total fatalities along the dangerous crossing route to 2,510 so far this year, the United Nations refugee agency said today, as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a comprehensive and collective response to large movements of refugees and migrants.

UN children's agency 'alarmed' at refugee and migrant deaths in the Mediterranean

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has expressed alarm at the number of migrant and refugee deaths in the past week in the Central Mediterranean, many of whom were believed to be unaccompanied minors.

UN agency urges Greece to find alternatives for refugees and migrants at ‘sub-standard’ sites

“Seriously concerned” by what it termed sub-standard conditions at several sites in northern Greece where refugees and migrants were evacuated this week from the makeshift site at Idomeni, the United Nations refugee agency today urged the Greek authorities, with the financial support provided by the European Union (EU), to quickly find better alternatives.

Citing obstruction, UN torture prevention panel suspends Ukraine visit

The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) has suspended its visit to Ukraine after being denied access to places in several parts of the country where it suspects people are being deprived of their liberty by the Security Service of Ukraine, the SBU.

UNESCO welcomes Azerbaijan’s decision to free investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has welcomed Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court decision to free an award-winning investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova.

UN health agency foresees low to moderate risk of Zika virus spread in Europe

The overall risk of a Zika virus outbreak across Europe is low to moderate during late spring and summer, according to a new risk assessment published today by the World Health Organization (WHO), with a varying risk across the region that is higher in countries where Aedes mosquitoes are present.

EU has largely ‘abandoned’ Greece to deal with migrant crisis on its own, UN expert warns

The suffering of migrants in Greece is the result of a complete absence of long-term vision and the clear lack of political will of the European Union (EU), a United Nations human rights expert said today, warning that Greece, already struggling to cope with fiscal challenges, has been abandoned by the EU to deal with a crisis that requires a response from all countries in the region.

Kosovo still faces ‘hard-nosed realities,’ but is vital for European security – UN envoy

Unemployment, inequality, and the challenges of developing a productive economy to meet global development goals and overcome legacies of impunity, are among the “hard-nosed realities” facing Kosovo, the head of the United Nations political mission there said today, calling for international involvement to help Kosovo’s institutions, and the wider region as a whole, overcome such obstacles.

FEATURE: In Ukraine, a ‘Living Library’ helps ease tensions between displaced persons and hosts

Experiencing the story of a person displaced in Ukraine – the suffering, joys, feelings of alienation and social exclusion, but also the sense of belonging – is possible for communities hosting the displaced persons due to a United Nations project that has turned testimonies into “books” in a so-called Living Library.

Wrapping up official visit to Portugal, Ban receives ‘Order of Liberty’ medal

On the final day of his visit to Portugal, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today received a medal in honour of his distinguished services to the cause of democracy and freedom.