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Play on – music serves as tool in UN-backed plan for peaceful elections in Sierra Leone

If music be the food of love, then it can also serve to promote peaceful elections in a country recovering from a disastrous decade-long civil war. Such is the updating of the famous line from Shakespeare adapted by the United Nations and its partners to fit the upcoming polls in Sierra Leone.

Despite progress too many children in Niger still face alarming malnutrition, UN warns

As the impoverished West African country of Niger enters the “lean season,” when food from the last harvest runs out, too many children are still at risk of malnutrition despite much progress made over the past two years, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today.

Ban-Ki moon to see UN rehabilitation efforts in Haiti during upcoming visit

When Ban Ki-moon arrives in Haiti tomorrow for a 24-hour tour, he will witness efforts by the United Nations in the fields of security, the economy and the judiciary that have fostered progress since the last visit by a Secretary-General to the impoverished Caribbean country a year ago, the UN mission there said today.

Ban Ki-moon condemns killing of two Korean hostages in Afghanistan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today spoke out against the recent killing of two South Korean nationals abducted in Afghanistan nearly two weeks ago, calling for the safe return of the remaining detainees, including several women.

Cyprus: UN mission welcomes European Commission’s support for de-mining projects

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) today lauded the signing of a €4 million contract between the European Commission (EC) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to clear remaining mines inside the buffer zone patrolled by the world body.

UN, international partners to step up contacts with reconciliation body in Somalia

The United Nations and its international partners in the search for peace in Somalia plan to step up their contacts with the country’s National Reconciliation Congress in an effort to bring stability to a faction-riven land that has had no functioning central government for 16 years.

UN regional literacy conference kicks off in Beijing

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is holding a conference in Beijing starting today to help tackle illiteracy in East Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific, where women make up nearly seven out of every 10 people who cannot read and write.

Secretary-General urges greater efforts to achieve anti-poverty targets

Stating that the world was “seriously off track” to reaching some of its shared anti-poverty goals by the target date of 2015, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for urgently stepped-up efforts to achieve the objectives on time.

Security Council authorizes hybrid UN-African Union operation in Darfur

The Security Council today approved the creation of a hybrid United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force to quell the violence and instability plaguing the Darfur region of Sudan, where hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and two million others forced to flee their homes.

UN reiterates call on Guatemala to back proposed body to probe armed groups

The United Nations today reiterated its call on Guatemala to “seize this opportunity” to set up a proposed independent body to investigate illegal armed groups in the Central American country on the eve of a vote in the national legislature tomorrow.