Mental health strategy should focus on prevention

Stakeholders want strategy to focus on prevention of mental illness and the reduction of social stigma.

Mental health problems affect one in four European citizens at some point in their life, making this one of the major public-health challenges in the EU. The economic cost is also significant: it represents some 3-4% of the EU's GDP.  

Finland ratifies EU Constitution

Wednesday 6 December 2006 EU presidency holder Finland has sent out a positive signal for the European constitutional project by ratifying the treaty with an overwhelming majority.With 125 votes to 39, the Finnish parliament approved the Constitution on 5 December 2006, despite the doubts over its future following the failed referenda in France and the Netherlands. 

EU sceptical about Turkey's Cyprus offer

Friday 8 December 2006 Cyprus has rejected Turkey's offer to open one port and one airport to traffic from the island. Uncertainties remain on the conditions attached to the proposal, one week ahead of a decisive EU summit.The Cyprus issue is currently the main stumbling block in the way of Turkey's EU accession. On 29 November, the Commission recommended the suspension of talks with Turkey for eight out of 35 chapters Turkey had refused to implement the Ankara Protocol and open its trade to vessels from Cyprus.

Indigenous People Gaining Ground (On Paper)

Daniela Estrada SANTIAGO, Dec 5 (IPS) - For the first time ever, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has devoted a chapter to indigenous peoples in its annual Social Panorama report on the region.

BULGARIA: Secrets will out

Vesna Peric Zimonjic BELGRADE, Dec. 6 (Inter Press Service News Agency) - The Bulgarian parliament finally adopted a much delayed law Wednesday to open most of the country's archives of former communist secret services.

Thousands flee Congo war

At least 12,000 people from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have entered neighbouring Uganda after fleeing fighting in the volatile eastern province of North Kivu, Ugandan officials said on Wednesday.

Aids 'ground zero'

As the world marks World Aids Day on 1 December, little has changed in the Ugandan village where the first cases of the virus were discovered 25 years ago. The fishing community of Kasensero has been ravaged by HIV/Aids and is in desperate need of direct aid, says Killian Stokes


'UN promoted conflict in Iraq'

Hans von Sponeck quit as head of the UN in Iraq in disgust at the failure of UN sanctions. He tells Colin Murphy about meeting Saddam Hussein, his diplomatic efforts to avert the war and the disgrace of the sanctions regime


For many in Sudan, the war in Darfur is something too remote to think about – the conflict on the opposite side of the country is far removed from the five-star wealth of Khartoum. But as tensions rise in the province, displaced Darfurians are increasingly cut off from humanitarian aid, writes Conor O'Loughlin

'We've been up this hill before'

As the US prepares for the November midterm elections, Democratic strength in the polls is feeding confidence among party members, but others point to the last election and warn that this confidence may be premature. By Adam Nagourney and Robin Toner