News by region: Europe


UN health agency foresees low to moderate risk of Zika virus spread in Europe

18 May – The overall risk of a Zika virus outbreak across Europe is low to moderate during late spring and summer, according to a new risk assessment published today by the World Health Organization (WHO), with a varying risk across the region that is higher in countries where Aedes mosquitoes are present.


EU has largely ‘abandoned’ Greece to deal with migrant crisis on its own, UN expert warns

17 May – The suffering of migrants in Greece is the result of a complete absence of long-term vision and the clear lack of political will of the European Union (EU), a United Nations human rights expert said today, warning that Greece, already struggling to cope with fiscal challenges, has been abandoned by the EU to deal with a crisis that requires a response from all countries in the region.


FEATURE: In Ukraine, a ‘Living Library’ helps ease tensions between displaced persons and hosts

16 May – Experiencing the story of a person displaced in Ukraine – the suffering, joys, feelings of alienation and social exclusion, but also the sense of belonging – is possible for communities hosting the displaced persons due to a United Nations project that has turned testimonies into “books” in a so-called Living Library.


Kosovo still faces ‘hard-nosed realities,’ but is vital for European security – UN envoy

16 May – Unemployment, inequality, and the challenges of developing a productive economy to meet global development goals and overcome legacies of impunity, are among the “hard-nosed realities” facing Kosovo, the head of the United Nations political mission there said today, calling for international involvement to help Kosovo’s institutions, and the wider region as a whole, overcome such obstacles.


Wrapping up official visit to Portugal, Ban receives ‘Order of Liberty’ medal

13 May – On the final day of his visit to Portugal, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today received a medal in honour of his distinguished services to the cause of democracy and freedom.


Belarus: execution shows ‘callous disdain’ for international human rights law – UN experts

13 May – United Nations human rights experts today condemned Belarus’ continued use of the death penalty following reports that a man whose complaint was before the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) had been executed, despite a specific request from the Committee for a stay of execution.


UN refugee agency reports some 1,000 refugees and migrants rescued off Italian coast

13 May – Some 1,000 people of various nationalities, including refugee families and unaccompanied children, were rescued yesterday from the Mediterranean Sea, the UN refugee agency said today.


Unaccompanied refugee and migrant children in Europe ‘falling between the cracks’ – UNICEF

6 May – New data reveal that a record 96,500 unaccompanied refugee and migrant children applied for asylum across Europe in 2015, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today, calling for urgent measures to protect these children from the serious risks of abuse, exploitation and trafficking.


Challenges to peace accord ‘cast shadow’ on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s progress, Security Council told

5 May – The readiness of some political actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina to question and challenge the 1995 peace accord, including new attempts to undermine the sovereignty and authority of the State and its institutions, continues to cast a shadow over positive efforts to advance economic and social reforms, the United Nations Security Council was told today.


UNICEF calls for better protection of children under revised EU asylum rules

4 May – As the European Union (EU) prepares for critical talks on the rules governing applications from people seeking protection in Europe, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called for the interests and rights of children to be given greater priority.