Democracy vital in spurring development, achievement of human rights – Ban

Democratic governance both reinforces and is bolstered by development and human rights, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored in a message to a high-level event drawing thousands of representatives of both governments and non-governmental organizations.

Property issues and external relations the focus of latest UN-backed talks on Cyprus

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders have discussed property rights and external relations during the latest two days of United Nations-backed talks aimed at reunifying the Mediterranean island.

Norway teams up with UN development agency to reduce armed violence

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has teamed up with Norway in a new drive to try to reduce armed violence, which kills more than 2,000 people every day, most of them civilians.

UN agency calls for better monitoring to combat human trafficking in Europe

Trafficking in persons is an under-detected crime in Europe, according to a new United Nations report, which calls for better information sharing and monitoring to combat this scourge.

Russia advances in aiding indigenous peoples but challenges remain – UN expert

Russia’s federal and regional governments have undertaken several impressive steps to tackle the concerns of its small number of indigenous peoples, but significant challenges remain in overcoming poverty, unemployment and other social ills, a United Nations human rights expert said today.

Cypriot leaders plant olive trees for peace and pledge to continue UN-backed talks

The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders planted olive trees today in a gesture of peace, pledging to continue participating in United Nations-backed talks to unify the Mediterranean island.

Kosovo: UN mission says its role hindered by sides’ differing views

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia last year, is “inextricably caught” between the differing perceptions of the opposing sides, which hinder its efforts to bring the majority Albanians and minority Serbian and other ethnic groups closer together, the top UN official there said today.

First UN human rights office in European Union opens in Brussels

The first United Nations human rights office in the European Union opened today in Brussels, marking what the world body’s top rights official hopes will be a new era of cooperation with countries in the region.

Governance tops UN-backed talks between Cypriot leaders

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders met today to continue discussions on governance, focusing on the executive, as part of ongoing United Nations-backed talks to unify the Mediterranean island, the world body said today.

UN war crimes trial of Karadžić to start later this month after appeal rejection

The genocide trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić before the United Nations war crimes tribunal for the 1990s Balkan conflicts will start on 26 October at the latest after the rejection of his appeal that he enjoys immunity through an earlier deal with United States officials.