Swiss minaret ban discriminates against Muslims, says UN expert

An independent United Nations expert on religious freedom today voiced regret at the Swiss vote to ban the construction of new minarets, stating that such a prohibition clearly discriminates against Muslims.

Secretary-General mourns victims of Russian train bombing

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced the hope today that investigations will shed more light on the circumstances behind the bombing of a Russian train that killed 25 people on Friday night, and injured scores more.

Trial of Serb politician to resume at UN war crimes tribunal in January 2010

The United Nations tribunal set up to deal with the worst war crimes committed during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s has ordered that the trial of Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Šešelj, which had been adjourned in February amid allegations that witnesses had been intimidated, resume on 12 January 2010.

Cypriot leaders focus on immigration and citizenship in UN-backed talks

The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders met today to continue discussions on immigration, citizenship and asylum as part of the ongoing United Nations-backed, power-sharing negotiations.

Bosnia needs continued support amid political impasse, Security Council told

Bosnia and Herzegovina needs continued international support in its bid for Euro-Atlantic integration, despite the political impasse it is currently facing, the United Nations Security Council was told today.

Ban welcomes appointment of new European leaders

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced the hope for increased cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations following the appointment of Herman van Rompuy as the first EU President and Catherine Ashton as EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

As European population ages, UN body suggests ways to enhance senior lives

The number of elderly people in Europe is on the rise and responding to their changing needs is one of the biggest challenges that governments have to face this century, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) said today.

Security Council extends mandate of European peacekeepers in Bosnia

The United Nations Security Council today extended for another year the European Union stabilization force (EUFOR) entrusted with ensuring continued compliance by all sides in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the ethnic war there.

Over 117,000 displaced Bosnians kept from returning home by political disputes – UN

Political disputes in Bosnia and Herzegovina are impeding the return of over 117,000 people, dooming them to endure the consequences of wartime atrocities 14 years after the end of the Balkan conflict that drove them from their homes, an independent United Nations expert said today.

Property issues remain focus of UN-backed talks between Cypriot leaders

Property issues were once again the focus as Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders met today to continue United Nations-backed reunification talks.