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15 Jan 2014 description

Dancing in the streets of Juba has been replaced with fear of even stepping outside your own doorstep. One month ago, on 15 December 2013, fighting broke out between different fractions in South Sudan’s capital.

The gunfire has since spread and is now threatening big parts of the country as the international community fears the breakout of a new civil war. A few years back, the people of South Sudan were celebrating their independence – but now they have been thrown into a chaos which leaves little hope for the bright future they once dreamed about.

15 Jan 2014 description

India sets to celebrate a landmark achievement for global public health and the worldwide effort to eradicate polio. India, which once had the highest number of polio cases in the world, has not reported any new cases in the past three years.

Poor sanitation, densely populated areas and large numbers of people living in extreme poverty set a perfect stage for the spread of polio. Long recognised as one of the most difficult places to eradicate polio, India now stands as an example for how to mount a successful disease response effort under the most complex circumstances.

23 Dec 2013 description

Africa is often referred to as one big country, despite being a continent as big as China, India, the United States AND most of Europe put together.

The continent is more than 30m sq. km, but this is not reflected correctly in standard Mercator maps. Europe, for instance, is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering about 10,180,000 square kilometres, with approximately 50 countries (of which 28 belong to the European Union).

02 Dec 2013 description

In the future, climate change will force more and more people to leave their homes, but the term "climate refugees" is not an internationally recognized term. National legislation in most countries does not take climate factors into account when granting asylum.

Last week the asylym bid of Ioane Teitiota, a 37-year-old man from the small island state Kiribati, was rejected in New Zealand. Teitiota said he was trying to escape rising seas and environmental risks caused by global warming in his home country.

15 Jul 2013 description

Fresh from a two-week trip to three peacekeeping operations, Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping operations Hervé Ladsous shares his views on challenges facing the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

On 1 July you were in Mali as MINUSMA - the latest UN peacekeeping operations - was being launched. What was the meaning of your presence there?

25 Apr 2013 description

25 April, Brussels – A roundtable discussion, hosted and moderated this morning in the European Parliament by MEP Ricardo Cortés Lastra, urged international food assistance agencies and the EU to work together more closely to address the recurrent food and nutrition crises affecting the world's most vulnerable populations.

31 Oct 2011 description

The island of Sri Lanka, known for its stunning and diverse nature, but also for its ethnic violence, is now facing the challenge of overcoming its bloody past and focusing on development and stability.

“In the 1950s and 60s Sri Lanka was hailed as a model developing country, with functioning democracy, working institutions and good economic growth”, says Alan Keenan, Senior Analyst and Sri Lanka Project Director for the International Crisis Group (ICG).

What happened?

03 Oct 2011 description

The former French colony in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Mozambique with a landmass 1.5 times that of Germany, but with a population of only 20 million, is now facing a huge humanitarian crisis, according to Natascha Paddison, acting Deputy Representative for UNICEF: “The country’s health and education systems are not really working, they are crumbling”, she says.

12 Aug 2011 description

The conflict between the Colombian government and armed Marxist guerillas that began in the mid 1960s have left over 3 million people as refugees in their own country. Not often mentioned in the world media, these internally displaced people (IDPs) are a part of everyday life in the South-American country of Colombia. The IDPs often live deplorable conditions, in constant fear of arbitrary killings with no long-term solution in sight. This creates a precarious humanitarian situation.

17 Jan 2010 description

Touching down in the capital of Haiti, which was devastated by this week's catastrophic earthquake, today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today pledged the United Nations' support for the victims of the disaster.

The UN "will continue to stand behind the Haitian people," Mr. Ban said in Port-au-Prince, the city hardest hit by the 12 January tremors, which are believed to have impacted one third of Haiti's 9 million people.

05 Mar 2009 description

An original cinema spot by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO), under the title "Solidarity in Action", is currently on cinema screens in Athens and Thessaloniki.

01 Mar 2009 description

Just over four years after former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others were killed in a terrorist attack in Beirut, the international tribunal set up to try the perpetrators began its work today, marking what Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deemed a historic step in the search for justice.

"The commencement of the Tribunal''s work marks a decisive milestone in the tireless efforts by all Lebanese and the international community to uncover the truth, bring those responsible for this assassination and related crimes to justice and end impunity," Mr.

26 Sep 2008 description

In an effort to more effectively help countries recover from conflicts and natural disasters, the United Nations, European Union and World Bank signed an agreement today to harmonize their collective assistance, developing common tools, training and evaluation mechanisms.

"We believe a common platform for partnership and action is central to the delivery of an effective and sustainable international response after disaster- and conflict-related crises," the three partners said in a joint declaration at UN Headquarters in New York.

"We are engaged in significant work to …

09 May 2008 description

L'Envoyé spécial du Secrétaire général pour la mise en œuvre de la résolution 1559 a déclaré aujourd'hui aux membres du Conseil de sécurité que l'exacerbation des tensions au Liban résultait de la crise politique qui paralyse le pays depuis le 24 novembre 2007.

Le Secrétaire général est « profondément inquiet » devant les derniers événements au Liban, une situation qui pourrait conduire au chaos, a déclaré aujourd'hui Terje Roed-Larsen devant la presse, après son exposé au Conseil de sécurité sur la situation dans le pays.

Ban Ki-moon, comme les membres du Conseil de …

09 May 2008 description

The stalled political process in Lebanon, combined with the current violence on the streets and the 'defiant manoeuvres of militias,' is leaving the country struggling to function as a sovereign, democratic State, United Nations Special Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen told the Security Council today.

'The riots that started yesterday in Lebanon show tragically that the country today confronts challenges of a magnitude unseen since the end of the civil war,' said Mr.

11 Apr 2008 description

Mr. de Mistura met with Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO Secretary General, Mr. Robert Cooper, Director-General for Politico-Military Affairs at the Secretariat of the Council of the European Union and briefed the the Political and Security Committee of the Council of the EU.

The SRSG emphasised in interviews with several leading European media that 2008 was a crucial year for Iraq, not least because of important provincial elections in October. Mr de Mistura said that his presence in Brussels was a recognition of the crucial role that Europe plays in Iraq.

22 Mar 2007 description

22 March 2007, Keita, Niger - "Water? Water is life," says Halima Mala, 56, as she gets ready to work her vegetable garden. 'It is the most important thing in life -- together with our health, and having enough to eat."

But in Keita, a village in the heart of dust-ridden Niger, one of the driest countries on earth, having enough water isn't all that easy. Especially now, during the long dry season stretching from October until May.

Still, Halima's bucket is full, as are those of some 75 women working in this garden.