News by region: EUROPE


Secretary-General welcomes initial talks in Geneva to defuse Ukraine crisis

17 April – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said he was encouraged by the initial round of diplomatic negotiations on the crisis in Ukraine held in Geneva, but stressed that all sides need to follow up words with deeds as the situation remains ‘extremely volatile.’


Unrest in eastern Ukraine risks ‘seriously destabilizing’ entire country – UN rights official

16 April – The ongoing unrest in eastern Ukraine, if not addressed as a matter of priority, risks seriously destabilizing the rest of the country, a senior United Nations human rights official warned the Security Council today, as he also urged steps to counter misinformation and bring to an end all incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence.


UN rights expert urges United Kingdom to step up response to violence against women

16 April – Violence against women remains a pervasive challenge in the United Kingdom and a more comprehensive and targeted response is needed to address the scourge, an independent United Nations human rights expert said today after a two-week mission to the country.


In Bulgaria, living conditions for asylum-seekers improves, but gaps remain - UN agency

15 April – The United Nations refugee agency applauded today the “significant efforts” made recently by the Bulgarian authorities and their partners to improve living conditions for asylum seekers in the country.


Ukraine: UN rights office urges halt to propaganda, incitement to hatred

15 April – While corruption and widespread inequality were among the root causes of the massive street protests that erupted last year in Ukraine, the fear-mongering and incitement to hatred that have followed must be urgently countered to avoid further escalation of tensions in the country, states a United Nations human rights report issued today.


Ukraine 'teetering on brink' senior UN political official warns Security Council

13 April – In the wake of the violent clashes that have swept eastern Ukraine over the past 24 hours as pro- and anti-Government demonstrators have faced off in the region, a senior United Nations political official warned the Security Council this evening that the crisis will only deepen unless intensive efforts are made by all sides to de-escalate the situation.


Amid rise in Mediterranean crossings, UN urges solutions for refugees seeking safety

11 April – The United Nations refugee agency today stressed the need to find durable solutions for those making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, as it reported that the Italian navy had rescued some 6,000 people who had set out from Libya in overcrowded boats over the past four days alone.


Lithuania urged to reverse lifelong political ban on former president

9 April – The United Nations expert body monitoring civil and political rights found today that Lithuania violated the rights of its ex-president, Rolandas Paksas, by introducing a rule banning impeached officials from holding high office – just weeks after he had been removed from his post for abuse of power.


Marking International Day, UN urges full inclusion of Roma people in decision-making in Europe

8 April – On International Roma Day, the United Nations independent expert on minority issues is calling on all European countries and institutions to fully include Roma people in their decision-making processes at all levels.


Ban applauds Prague’s climate change preparedness

4 April – During his official visit in the Czech Republic’s capital, United Nations Secretary-General congratulated the city of Prague for its new protection system against floods, which involves mobile barriers to prevent the Vltava River from inundating the streets.