News People take part in a simulation entitled 'A Day in the Life of a Refugee: Exploring Solutions for Syria'

The most agonising choice many attendees of the World Economic Forum in Davos face is whether to go for a Martini or a smooth Riesling at the countless lavish parties that take place after hours.

Sri Lanka's civil war inquiry is 'eyewash', say Tamils

Sri Lanka's investigation into the war against the Tamil Tigers – a conflict that left thousands of civilians dead – has begun amid a barrage of allegations that justice will not be done.

Ban Ki-moon denies failing to fight fraud

The UN secretary general said it is "unfair" to question his record on battling internal fraud and corruption despite criticism from two former top officials who say he improperly blocked their efforts.

Co-operation on UN flotilla inquiry

Israel has announced it will take part in a UN investigation into the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla last spring, in a departure from its traditional mistrust of the world body. The move allowed the UN's secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to formally announce the creation of an investigation panel into the incident in which nine Turkish activists, including one with US citizenship, died after being shot by Israeli commandos boarding their ship.

Israeli army pledges to cut civilian deaths

The Israeli army has told the United Nations it is taking steps to reduce civilian casualties in future wars and will restrict the use of white phosphorous.

Leading article: A disastrous failure of leadership

The United Nations appears to be spinning, once more, into crisis. Inga-Britt Ahlenius, the outgoing head of the UN's internal corruption watchdog, has delivered a scathing "end of assignment" report in which she accuses the Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, of personally frustrating her work.

Dan Plesch: Naive not to acknowledge the world's elite wants a weak UN

A departing UN official has attacked her boss, Ban Ki-moon, for being ineffective. At first glance, the story is about as astonishing as "Dog Bites Man". But the story is much more complicated than a simple case of a disgruntled ex-employee sounding off. As is so often the case, it is what is not being said that is most important, or, as in the Sherlock Holmes story, the dogs that are not barking but should be.

'Deplorable and reprehensible' UN boss savaged by outgoing aide

Wagons were being hastily circled around Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, last night as top aides absorbed the shock of one of their own blasting him for allegedly thwarting attempts to combat corruption in the world body and leading it into a "process of decay" and "irrelevance".

Happy Birthday to you, Mr Mandela

Communities across South Africa yesterday marked Nelson Mandela's 92nd birthday and the first 'Mandela Day' – an international day devoted to public service in honour of the anti-apartheid icon.

UN celebrates a 'watershed day' for women

Global body launched: The fight against rape, female circumcision, child mortality and poor healthcare takes on a higher priority.

UK allows ousted Kyrgyz president's son to stay for now

Bishkek to demand that Britain extradite Maxim Bakiyev, accused of embezzling millions

UN condemns escalating Kyrgyzstan violence

The UN Security Council condemned the violence in Kyrgyzstan and calling for calm and a return of the rule of law.

Israel eases blockade by letting in extra food items

Israel has eased its regime for food imports to Gaza, allowing foods like a range of herbs, biscuits, jam, potato crisps, packaged hummus and canned fruits which had been banned from entering the territory from Israel for three years.

Malawian gay couple 'split over woman'

A gay couple whose 14-year prison sentence for their love affair led to international condemnation, have split over a girl, according to the Malawian daily newspaper The Nation.

Netanyahu rejects UN-led inquiry into aid ship shootings

Group of Israeli naval reserve officers calls for commanders to be held to account

Malawian president pardons gay couple after UN meeting

The President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, yesterday pardoned a gay couple sentenced to 14 years in jail, after he held a meeting with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. "These boys committed a crime against our culture, our religion and our laws. However, as the head of state, I hereby pardon them and therefore ask for their immediate release with no conditions," Mr wa Mutharika said after the meeting in the capital, Lilongwe.

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