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UN-backed body to discuss new measures to protect endangered species

A fish and a small primate whose survival is threatened by their use in traditional medicine, pink coral, rosewood and the perennial issue of whether there should be any easing of the ban on ivory are high on the agenda of this year’s meeting of the United Nations-backed body overseeing trade in endangered species.

UN agency seeks $26 million to revamp Palestinian refugee camp from ‘bottom up’

The main United Nations agency caring for Palestinian refugees has appealed for $26 million to improve the living conditions of some 18,000 Palestinians living in Neirab camp near Aleppo, Syria, as part of a new project emphasizing community participation.

UN Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie visits Darfur refugees in Chad

Actress and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie wrapped up a two-day trip to a refugee camp in eastern Chad housing refugees from Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region, praising humanitarian workers for their tireless efforts in providing assistance while calling for more aid to those in need.

Iran continues nuclear enrichment in breach of Security Council call, UN reports

Iran has continued uranium enrichment despite a Security Council call that it suspend such activities, the United Nations atomic watchdog says in a new report, adding that without greater transparency and spot checks it cannot affirm that Tehran’s nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes to produce energy and not weapons.

Ban Ki-moon supports meeting on Iraq bringing together US, Iran and Syria

A spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced support for the new diplomatic initiative that will bring together Iraq’s neighbours and the five permanent members of the Security Council in a meeting in Baghdad.

Haiti needs international aid at current crucial juncture, says UN official

Immediate urgent action and increased aid, especially financial support, from the international community are necessary to improve the humanitarian situation in Haiti which is at a “crossroads in its history,” a United Nations envoy to the country said today in New York.

UN rights chief calls for action to tackle ‘plague’ of violence against women

Progress has been made already this year in protecting human rights worldwide, such as the recent adoption of a convention against enforced disappearances and other legislation, the top United Nations rights officer said today, but she stressed that more must be done in other areas, particularly to curb the “plague” of violence against women.

Notorious Congolese militia leader begins disarmament but demands amnesty – UN

In a hopeful development towards peace in the war-torn northeastern Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the notorious leader of the a local militia group has ordered the surrender and disarmament of 170 of his troops – including numerous children – while demanding amnesty, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country, known as MONUC, announced today.

Low-cost Internet next step in closing digital divide, officials tell UN-backed forum

Bringing down the costs of Internet access could set off the same wave of connectivity that has made mobile phone usage commonplace in developing countries, said innovators and corporate leaders from some of the world’s leading technology firms meeting today in northern California with government leaders, activists and United Nations officials.

Sudan: Ban Ki-moon calls for ‘dialogue’ from all sides as daily violence continues

Painting his grimmest picture yet of the humanitarian and security situation in Sudan’s strife-torn Darfur region, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reiterated the urgent need for a ceasefire, calling for “dialogue and negotiation” from all sides, while the United Nations mission in the country today reported more abductions, hijackings and tribal fighting throughout the region.