United Nations - updates

Rappler's latest stories on United Nations


WHO raises global virus risk to maximum level

Feb 28, 2020 - 11:44 PM

(UPDATED) The virus' rapid spread to new zones has authorities concerned – in the past 24 hours, it has affected 9 new countries, from Azerbaijan to Mexico to New Zealand

'VERY HIGH.' World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gives a press conference on the situation regarding the COVID-19 at Geneva's WHO headquarters on February 24, 2020. File photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

U.N. prepared to make humanitarian exemptions for North Korea on coronavirus

Feb 28, 2020 - 9:16 AM

Ill-equipped North Korea has weak medical infrastructure and has cut itself off from the outside world

LEADERS. People pay their respects before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Photo by Ed Jones/AFP

UK rejects EU trade demands, threatens to walk away

Feb 27, 2020 - 7:58 PM

Two days after EU ministers approved their own joint approach to the negotiations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government sets out its own red lines

TRADE DEAL. Anti-Brexit campaigners are seen in Westminster, central London on February 26, 2020. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Virus quarantines must be 'proportionate,' respect rights – U.N.

Feb 27, 2020 - 7:27 PM

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet also voices serious concern for 'vulnerable groups' of people 'living in collective institutions, including many older people and people deprived of their liberty'

QUARANTINE. Workers in protective clothes stand before passengers disembarking off the Diamond Princess cruise ship, in quarantine due to fears of new COVID-19 coronavirus, at Daikoku pier cruise terminal in Yokohama on February 21, 2020. Photo by Philip Fong/AFP

Nations seek biodiversity accord to stave off mass extinction

Feb 25, 2020 - 10:35 AM

'This degradation of nature is unprecedented in the history of mankind,' says IPBES executive secretary Anne Larigauderie

BABIES. The world's first lion cubs born through artificial insemination rest under a tree at the Ukutula private game conservation center. Photo by Phill Magakoe/AFP

U.N. calls for '2 state' solution to be respected in Middle East

Feb 25, 2020 - 9:00 AM

The UN reiterates its support for a solution 'where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders'

UNREST. Palestinians shout slogans against the inauguration of the US embassy following its controversial move to Jerusalem. Photo by Mohammed Abad/AFP

Libyans propose ceasefire, slam international inaction

Feb 24, 2020 - 11:26 PM

The draft ceasefire deal proposes that the United Nations and a military commission with members from both warring sides monitor the safe return of displaced civilians to their homes

DRAFT DEAL. President of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord of Libya Faiez Mustafa Serraj delivers a speech at the UN Human Rights Council's main annual session on February 24, 2020 in Geneva. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Human rights under assault worldwide – U.N. chief

Feb 24, 2020 - 7:42 PM

'People are being left behind. Fears are growing,' says UN chief Antonio Guterres, pointing to swelling divisions and political polarization in many countries.

HUMAN RIGHTS. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is seen on a TV screen addressing at the opening of the UN Human Rights Council's main annual session on February 24, 2020 in Geneva. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

South Sudan citizens 'deliberately starved' by warring parties – U.N.

Feb 20, 2020 - 8:08 PM

A United Nations panel delivers a damning indictment of 'predatory and unaccountable elites' and the suffering of civilians after 6 years of conflict

PRESSURE. A young girl walks across a path separating rows of shelters at the Protection of Civilians (POC) site in Wau on February 1, 2020. Photo by Tony Karumba/AFP

Can Duterte order PH withdrawal from UNCLOS? 'Theoretically, yes,' says DFA

Feb 20, 2020 - 4:11 PM

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon says the Philippines is party to many important treaties whose fate 'cannot be left to one man no matter how brilliant'

DUTERTE CAN. Foreign Assistant Secretary Igor Bailen of the Office of Tresties and Legal Affairs of the Deparment of Foreign Affairs says the President can terminate treaties on his own on February 20, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Russia warns Turkey, blocks U.N. bid to end Syria bloodshed

Feb 20, 2020 - 9:36 AM

Syrian aid workers call urgently for a ceasefire and international help for nearly a million people fleeing the regime onslaught

TUNNEL. Turkish-backed Syrian fighters inspect a tunnel, said to have been built by Kurdish fighters, in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad, on October 21, 2019. Photo by Bakr Alkasem/AFP

Every child under 'immediate threat' from climate, poor diet – U.N.

Feb 19, 2020 - 1:23 PM

Not one country on Earth is adequately protecting the next generation from the impacts of carbon emissions, the destruction of nature and high-calorie and processed foods

Yemeni school children attend an open-air class under a tree near their unfinished school on September 16, 2019 in the southwestern Yemeni village of al-Kashar in Taez governorate's Mashraa and Hadnan district at the start of the new academic year in the war-battered country. - The classes are given in a field outside the school which was under construction but was never completed when funding was stopped due to the war that broke out in Yemen in 2015. According to the UN, two million of the country's seven million children of school age go without education in Yemen. More than 2,500 schools are out of use across Yemen, of which two thirds have been damaged in attacks, 27 percent closed and seven percent used by the military or as shelters for displaced people. (Photo by Ahmad AL-BASHA / AFP)

Libya government suspends participation in Geneva talks

Feb 19, 2020 - 8:41 AM

A barrage of rocket fire is the latest violation of a tenuous truce that came into effect in January

PROTEST. Libyans take part in a demonstration against eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar, and in support of the UN-recognized government of national accord (GNA), in the Martyrs' Square in the GNA-held capital Tripoli on January 24, 2020. Photo by AFP

14 children among up to 22 dead in Cameroon massacre – U.N.

Feb 17, 2020 - 10:17 AM

9 of the children were under the age of 5

Cameroonian displaced people wait for food parcels at a food distribution center in Koza on September 14, 2016. Photo by Reinnier Kaze/AFP

Pompeo says settlement report shows U.N.'s 'unrelenting anti-Israel bias'

Feb 14, 2020 - 11:01 AM

This is in response to the UN's list of 112 companies with activities in Israeli settlements, including major US firms Airbnb, Expedia, and TripAdvisor

SETTLED. Israeli soldiers walk along the buildings of the Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit on January 31, 2020. Photo by Abbas Momani/AFP

New clashes in Libya despite U.N. ceasefire call

Feb 13, 2020 - 11:13 PM

Despite the truce, there has been sporadic fighting almost every day near Tripoli, and arms continue to flow into the country

CLASHES. A man checks a shell-pocked wall in a street that was reportedly hit during shelling by forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar in the capital Tripoli's Batata neighbourhood on February 13, 2020. Photo by Mahmud Turkia/AFP

U.N. identifies 112 firms linked to Israeli settlements

Feb 13, 2020 - 3:36 PM

The move is cheered by the Palestinians but slammed as 'shameful' by Israel

JEWISH SETTLEMENTS. Israeli soldiers walk with the buildings of the Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit behind them to disperse a demonstration by Israel's controversial separation barrier (foreground) in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah, on January 31, 2020. Photo by Abbas Momani/AFP

China transparent in virus response – U.N. envoy

Feb 13, 2020 - 9:59 AM

Anger erupted in China this month after the death of a doctor in Wuhan, whom police silenced when he flagged the emerging virus in December

ROUNDS. This photo taken on February 3, 2020 shows medical staff members on their rounds at a quarantine zone in Wuhan. Photo by STR/AFP

Palestinian leader warns U.N. on Trump's 'Swiss cheese' peace

Feb 12, 2020 - 9:12 AM

'Who among you would accept such a state?' Abbas asks, as he warns that Israel would create an 'apartheid' situation if it moves ahead with annexation

MAPS. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas holds a placard showing maps of (L to R) historical Palestine, the 1947 United Nations partition plan on Palestine, the 1948-1967 borders between the Palestinian territories and Israel, and a current map of the Palestinian territories without Israeli-annexed areas and settlements. Photo by Khaled Desouki/AFP

Idlib displacement worst since start of Syria war – U.N.

Feb 11, 2020 - 9:23 PM

'In just 10 weeks, since 1 December, some 690,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Idlib and surrounding areas,' says the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

INTERNALLY DISPLACED. A truck loaded with a family's belongings drives on the outskirts of the town of Deir Ballut as Syrians fleeing air strikes by pro-regime forces on rebel-held areas of the Idlib province head toward safer zones near the Turkish border, on February 6, 2020. File photo by Rami al Sayed/AFP

Lacking support, Palestinians pull request for U.N. vote against Trump plan

Feb 11, 2020 - 11:00 AM

The Trump administration has put heavy pressure on critics of the Israel-friendly Middle East plan, diplomats say

'REGRETTABLE DECISION.' A Palestinian boy sits on a chair with a national flag as Israeli authorities demolish a school site in the village of Yatta on July 11 2018. File Photo by Hazem Bader/AFP

FALSE: U.N. chief Guterres defends Duterte's war on drugs

Feb 10, 2020 - 5:18 PM

This is a fabricated, rehashed claim that first surfaced in 2017

New UK ambassador to U.S. appointed after Trump row

Feb 07, 2020 - 11:43 PM

Karen Pierce, a career diplomat who has previously served in Washington as private secretary to the British ambassador, is the first woman to hold the post

NEW AMBASSADOR. In this file photo taken on August 20, 2019 Dame Karen Pierce, Permanent British representative to the United Nations speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting, at the United Nations in New York. File photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP

Maria Ressa among 2020 Four Freedoms Awards laureates

Feb 06, 2020 - 7:34 PM

Maria Ressa joins the United Nations, the Religions for Peace International, Dutch journalist Sander de Kramer, and Palermo, Sicily Mayor Leoluca Orlando as awardees

U.K. vows action after envoy slams plans for U.N. climate talks

Feb 05, 2020 - 10:47 AM

'We've poured so much CO2 into the atmosphere collectively that our entire planet is swaddled in a great tea cozy of the stuff,' says Prime Minister Boris Johnson

DANGER. A protestor holds a sign reading 'Planet in danger' during a climate change protest in Paris,on September 21, 2019. Photo by Lucas Barioulet/AFP

Northwest Syria violence displaces 500,000 in 2 months

Feb 05, 2020 - 9:32 AM

According to the UN, the vast majority – 80% – are women and children

ESCAPE. Syrian refugees carry their belongings as they wait to enter Jordanian side of the Hadalat border crossing, a military zone east of the capital Amman, after arriving from Syria on May 4, 2016. Photo by Kahlil Mazraawi/AFP

First U.N. 'mercy flight' leaves Yemen's rebel-held Sanaa

Feb 03, 2020 - 8:42 PM

'This is the first of what we hope will be a number of flights in the medical air bridge,' says UN Resident Coordinator for Yemen Lise Grande

'MERCY FLIGHT.' In this file photo, Lise Grande, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, speaks to the press upon her arrival at the Sanaa international airport on March 12, 2018. Photo by Mohammed Huwais/AFP

Crackdown on environmental defenders 'may lead to P1-T ecological damage yearly'

Feb 03, 2020 - 4:42 PM

The Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment submits to the United Nations its own report on the human rights situation under the Duterte administration

DEFEND THE DEFENDERS. The Philippines is the most dangerous country to be an environmental activist, according to the latest report of international nongovernmental organization Global Witness. File photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Tripoli airport hit by rocket fire as U.N. slams Libya arms violations

Jan 28, 2020 - 9:35 AM

The Libyan capital's sole functioning airport comes under renewed fire as fighting breaks out hours after the UN mission in the country condemned ongoing violations of an arms embargo

PROTEST. Libyans take part in a demonstration against eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar, and in support of the UN-recognized government of national accord (GNA), in the Martyrs' Square in the GNA-held capital Tripoli on January 24, 2020. Photo by AFP

Top U.N. court orders Myanmar to prevent Rohingya genocide

Jan 23, 2020 - 7:23 PM

(UPDATED) Presiding judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf says Myanmar must 'take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts' described by the 1948 Genocide Convention

RULING ON MYANMAR. President of the International Court of Justice, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (C) speaks during the ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, on January 23, 2020 in the lawsuit filed by The Gambia against Myanmar in which Myanmar is accused of genocide against Rohingya Muslims. Photo by Robin Van Lonkhuijsen/ANP/AFP

U.N. experts urge probe into alleged Saudi hacking of Bezos phone

Jan 23, 2020 - 3:44 AM

Riyadh rejects the allegations, its embassy in Washington branding them 'absurd'

JEFF BEZOS. In this file photo taken on September 19, 2018 Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos provides the keynote address at the Air Force Association's Annual Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Oxen Hill, MD. File photo by Jim Watson/AFP

Virus exposes Beijing campaign to isolate Taiwan on global bodies

Jan 22, 2020 - 6:29 PM

Modern Taiwan has been a de facto sovereign nation for the last 7 decades and has emerged as one of Asia's most progressive democracies but is quarantined on the world stage

TAIWAN. Masked passengers arrive at the Sungshan Airport in Taipei on January 22, 2020. Photo by Sam Yeh/AFP

War crimes, not genocide committed against Rohingya – Myanmar probe

Jan 21, 2020 - 10:36 AM

Burmese Rohingya Organization UK (BROUK) dismisses the findings as a 'blatant PR exercise'

In this file photo taken on April 25, 2018, taken from Maungdaw district, Myanmar's Rakhine state on April 25, 2018 shows Rohingya refugees gathering behind a barbed-wire fence in a temporary settlement setup in a "no man's land" border zone between Myanmar and Bangladesh. (Photo by Ye Aung Thu/AFP)

U.N. warns of 'much extreme weather' ahead after hottest decade on record

Jan 16, 2020 - 1:33 AM

Scientists stress the urgent need to do more to counter the warming trend

HEAT WAVE. This file photo is a general view of a lake running dry on a hot summer day near Ajmer on June 2, 2019. Temperatures passed 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in northern India as an unrelenting heatwave triggered warnings of water shortages and heatstroke. Photo by Himanshu Sharma/AFP

Berlin to host international conference on Libya

Jan 14, 2020 - 11:07 PM

'The aim of this process is... to support the efforts of the United Nations for a sovereign Libya and for the reconciliation process within Libya,' Chancellor Angela Merkel's office says

ANGELA MERKEL. Berlin will host an international conference on Libya. Image from Shutterstock

Protect 30% of planet by 2030 – U.N. nature rescue plan

Jan 14, 2020 - 9:27 AM

The first UN 'state of nature' report in two decades finds that one million species of plants and animals are threatened with extinction

Demonstrators take part in a global youth climate action strike in Lisbon, on September 27, 2019 at the end of a global climate change week. Photo by Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP

Zarif says informed by U.N. that U.S. has denied him visa

Jan 07, 2020 - 8:37 PM

So far there has been no official confirmation from Washington that it has rejected Mohammad Javad Zarif's visa application

ZARIF. This file photo shows Iran foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Khonsari at the Palais Egmont in Brussels on January 11, 2018. File photo by John Thys/AFP

U.N. extends investigation of leader's mysterious 1961 death

Dec 28, 2019 - 11:48 AM

Former UN secretary-general Dag Hammarskjold died in a tragic plane crash in what was then known as Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia

PAYING RESPECTS. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pays his respect after laying a wreath on the grave of Dag Hammarskjold, who served as UN Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in Uppsala, Sweden, on April 22, 2018. Photo by Fredrik Sandberg/TT News Agency/AFP/Sweden OUT

Children among 8 killed in Russian strikes on Syria's Idlib

Dec 24, 2019 - 10:28 PM

The strikes targeted a village in southern Idlib province, killing civilians sheltering in a school and nearby

Russia, China veto U.N. extending Syria cross-border aid

Dec 21, 2019 - 1:57 PM

Humanitarian aid currently flows into Syria through UN-designated checkpoints without the formal permission of the regime in Damascus, but that authority is due to expire on January 10

HARDSHIP. A displaced Syrian woman from Raqa walks at a camp for internally displaced people in Ain Issa. File photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

ICC prosecutor announces probe into 'war crimes' in Palestinian territories

Dec 20, 2019 - 11:40 PM

'War crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,' says Prosecutor Fatou Besouda

Rich nations urged to do 'fair share' as global refugee meet begins

Dec 17, 2019 - 11:42 PM

'At this time of turbulence, the international community must do far more to shoulder this responsibility together,' says UN chief Antonio Guterres

GLOBAL REFUGEE FORUM. A photo shows a genral view during the opening of the Global Refugee Forum, on December 17, 2019 in Geneva. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

U.N. chief 'disappointed' by climate talks outcome

Dec 15, 2019 - 10:19 PM

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says 'the international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation and finance to tackle the climate crisis'

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres wants to put an end to the violence in Libya. File photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Anger, relief but no joy as U.N. talks limp to an end

Dec 15, 2019 - 9:38 PM

Rich polluters, emerging powerhouses and climate-vulnerable nations grope for common ground in the face of competing national interests

Demonstrators walk past the city hall on Cibeles Square during a mass climate march to demand urgent action on the climate crisis from world leaders attending the COP25 summit, in Madrid, on December 6, 2019. - The main march takes place in Madrid on the sidelines of the UN climate conference, with a simultaneous rally in the Chilean capital, which had been due to host the 12-day gathering but was forced to pull out due to deadly anti-government protests. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)

Cuba-U.S. relations backslide 5 years after landmark thaw

Dec 15, 2019 - 10:56 AM

Ordinary Cubans say their country and the United States are like 'a couple who don't get along'

ROCKY RELATIONS. A man wearing a cap depicting the US flag is pictured in Havana, on December 12, 2019. Photo by Yamil Lage/AFP

U.N. climate talks unravelling, face failure

Dec 14, 2019 - 11:34 PM

Diplomats from rich nations, emerging giants and the world's poorest countries find fault in a draft agreement put forward by host Chile

PROTEST. A participant holds up a placard to call for action on climate change during a march in Tokyo on November 29, 2019 in line with the UN talks in Madrid. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

U.N. expert report unmasks Libya arms embargo violations

Dec 14, 2019 - 12:29 PM

The UN experts conclude 'the arms embargo was ineffective, and resulted in regular maritime and air transfers to Libya of military material'

IN RUINS. In this file photo taken on October 14, 2019, Libyans check the site of an air strike in which three children were killed and others wounded on the southern outskirts of the capital Tripoli. Photo by Mahmud Turkia/AFP

U.N. talks struggle to stave off climate chaos

Dec 13, 2019 - 9:31 PM

As pressure inside and outside the talks mounts, old splits dividing rich polluters and developing nations have reemerged

UN TALKS. A participant walks past a wall showing a quote by Indian pacifist Mahatma Gandhi at the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 at the 'IFEMA - Feria de Madrid' exhibition centre, in Madrid, on December 13, 2019. Photo by Cristina Quicler/AFP

Locsin throws shade at U.N. court hearing on Myanmar genocide case

Dec 12, 2019 - 8:11 PM

'Judge Myanmar against the template of European pogroms, the Europe wide Holocaust,' says Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr

DEFENSE. Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi stands before UN's International Court of Justice on December 10, 2019, in the Peace Palace of The Hague, at the start of a three-day hearing on Rohingya genocide case. Photo by Koen Van Weel/ANP/AFP

Greta Thunberg slams 'misleading' climate pledges at chaotic UN summit

Dec 12, 2019 - 7:27 AM

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, the Time magazine person of 2019, says the UN climate forum has become an 'opportunity for countries to negotiate loopholes and avoid raising their ambition'

MISLEADING. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg delivers a speech during a high-level event on climate emergency hosted by the Chilean presidency during the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 at the 'IFEMA - Feria de Madrid' exhibition center, in Madrid, on December 11, 2019. Photo by Cristina Quicler/AFP