What's New

Microplastic pollution is everywhere, but not necessarily a risk to human health

Tiny plastic particles known as microplastics are “everywhere – including in our drinking-water”, but they are not necessarily a risk to human health, UN experts said on Thursday.

In its first summary of the latest research into the impact of the tiny plastic pollutants on humans, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that they have been found in marine settings, waste and fresh water, food, the air and drinking-water, both bottled and from a tap.

Urgent need for ‘restraint and genuine dialogue’ in Middle East to avoid major confrontation

Briefing the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, the Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, Maria Luiza Viotti, said on Tuesday that “restraint and genuine dialogue are urgently needed”, in order to avoid a major confrontation, which would have disastrous consequences, even well beyond the region. 

Paying tribute and strengthening the role of #WomenHumanitarians on World Humanitarian Day

The work of women humanitarians makes a “huge difference” to the lives of millions of women, men and children in urgent need, the United Nations chief said in his message for World Humanitarian Day.

Marking the official day’s tenth anniversary on Monday, the UN is honouring the contribution of tens of thousands of women humanitarian aid workers who provide life-saving support to vulnerable people caught up in crises in some of the world’s most dangerous places.

Children’s lives in Mediterranean Sea must take priority over politics, says UNICEF

The fate of 130 children on board two rescue ships in the Mediterranean Sea should not be put at risk by political point-scoring, the UN said on Thursday, amid ongoing uncertainty about whether the vessels will be allowed to dock in Italy.

The appeal by UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, to European Governments to prevent EU-bound migrants and refugees from being stranded at sea, follows the signing of a second Italian decree banning humanitarian vessels from entering the country.

‘Palpable reduction’ in violence following Eid truce says Libya Mission, as UN investigates deadly bombing which left 3 staff dead

A UN call for a humanitarian truce over this week’s Eid al-Adha religious holiday led to a “palpable reduction” of violence around the embattled capital of Tripoli, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Following the UN’s plea last Thursday, both the forces loyal to the UN-recognized Government and the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) of commander Khalifa Haftar, announced that they would respect a truce.

Gender equality, education and the environment at the forefront of new SDG Advocate campaigns

Back in May, six innovative public figures joined the battle to push the world towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Each of the new official SDG Advocates committed themselves to pursue the 17 goals on behalf of “peace, prosperity, people, planet, and partnerships.”

As we inch closer to the SDG Summit in September, UN News caught up with some of them.

Amidst new challenges, Geneva Conventions mark 70 years of ‘limiting brutality’ during war

In commemorating the 70th anniversary of the landmark Geneva Conventions, the president of the United Nations Security Council hailed the “significant body of law”, describing it as playing “a vital role in limiting brutality of armed conflicts”.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the treaty, comprised of four Conventions and three Additional Protocols, established the modern, international legal standards for humanitarian treatment during times of war. They were agreed on 12 August 1949, and with some exceptions, ratified by 196 countries around the world.