Mr Ban

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US secretary of state John Kerry speaks with Saudi Arabian foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal as UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon looks on, as long-delayed peace talks on the Syrian civil war opened in Montreux, Switzerland, today. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/New York Times

Syria’s government and opposition, meeting for the first time, vented their mutual hostility today but a UN mediator said the enemies may be ready to (...)

United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS) personnel guard South Sudanese people displaced by recent fighting in Jabel, on the outskirts of capital Juba. Photograph: James Akena/Reuters.

A mass grave containing some 75 bodies has been found in South Sudan’s Unity State and two other mass graves have been reported in Juba after ethnic (...)

People run at a site hit yesterday by what activists said was an air raid by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus. Photograph: Mohamed Abdullah/Reuters

Chemical weapons were likely used in five out of seven attacks investigated by UN experts in Syria, where a two-year civil war has killed more than 10(...)

Representatives from the US, United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria meet on the situatioin in Syria in Geneva, Switzerland today. Photograph: United Nations handout

An international peace conference aimed at ending Syria’s civil war will be held on January 22nd, the first face-to-face talks between the government (...)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon has evoked Ireland’s longstanding history of emigration and recent past as a destination for migrants(...)

Secretary general of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon arrives in Russia ahead of the G20 summit. Photograph:  Alexey Kudenko/RIA Novosti via Getty Images

United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon will attend the Group of 20 summit in Russia to keep alive an initiative for a peace conference on Syria.(...)

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi: “A political resolution is still the only way out.” Photograph: Reuters/Adrian Bradshaw

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said yesterday that the United Nations Security Council should not be pushed into any military action on Syria before(...)

A Free Syrian Army fighter moves through a hole in a wall in the Bab al-Nasr neighborhood of Aleppo yesterday. Aleppo is one of three locations to be visited by a UN
chemical weapons inspection team. Photograph: Melhem Barakat/Reuters.

UN experts will travel to Syria imminently to investigate claims of chemical weapons use during that country’s civil war after the United Nations and (...)

Farc negotiator Pablo Catatumbo (left) shakes hands with Colombia’s government negotiator Frank Pearl during a conference in Havana yesterday. Colombia and the Marxist-led Farc rebels have reached agreement on the critical issue of agrarian reform, the two sides said  in what appeared to be a major step forward for the peace process aimed at ending their long war. Photograph: Enrique De La Osa/Reuters

Colombia and the Marxist-led Farc rebels have reached agreement on the critical issue of agrarian reform in a major step forward for the peace proces(...)

A North Korean soldier washes his socks as his comrade washes his hands at the banks of Yalu River, near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong

North Korea has recalled its workers from the Kaesong industrial park, ending its last remaining co-operative project with South Korea and prom(...)

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