Europe

UN chief: Belarusians must be able to exercise their ‘civil and political rights’

Closely following the developments in Belarus, Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement on Friday underlining the importance of enabling all Belarusians to “exercise their civil and political rights”. 

Interception no solution to address migrants crossing English Channel

Intercepting boats full of migrants attempting to cross the English Channel, is not the solution to deter them from attempting to reach the United Kingdom, UN agencies have stressed, warning that deployment of large naval vessels to block small, flimsy dinghies could lead to fatal incidents.

Belarus: UN rights chief condemns violence against protesters, calls for grievances to be heard

The flow of free information is “crucial” in a democratic society, the UN human rights chief said on Wednesday, spotlighting the landlocked eastern European nation of Belarus, “especially in a context of crisis and social unrest”.

Belarus: UN chief following post-election developments ‘with great concern’

The UN Secretary-General has appealed for restraint in Belarus, where ongoing clashes between police and demonstrators continue following disputed elections held on Sunday.

Leaving No Roma behind during a pandemic, and beyond: a UN Resident Coordinator blog

Roma people in Europe face widespread discrimination in many areas of life, including housing and health. In this opinion piece, Francoise Jacob, the UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia, explains how the UN is helping Roma communities, many of which have no access to safe water or electricity, to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Protect people ‘fleeing war, violence’, UN refugee agency urges Poland 

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) on Friday encouraged Poland to fall in line with its international obligations, and allow asylum seekers access. 

UN chief underscores need for reconciliation 25 years after Srebrenica genocide

Twenty-five years after the Srebrenica genocide, peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains fragile, underscoring the need for true reconciliation in the region, the UN Secretary-General said on Thursday in a video message marking the anniversary of the worst atrocity crime in Europe, since the Second World War.

Syrian refugees resort to ever more desperate measures to resist pandemic impact

The COVID-19 crisis has caused a dramatic spike in the number of Syrian refugees in need of emergency assistance in the last three months, UN humanitarians said on Tuesday, in an appeal for funding to confront new challenges posed by the health emergency.

UN sustainable energy project in Ukraine finds a new role: fighting COVID-19

A United Nations project to promote energy efficiency among Ukrainian homeowners has found a second life – informing 1.8 million of the nation’s citizens on how to combat the COVID-19 virus.

UN rights office concerned over migrant boat pushbacks in the Mediterranean

Restrictions against humanitarians who rescue migrant boats in the central Mediterranean are putting lives at risk and must be lifted immediately, the UN human rights office said on Friday.