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Set aside differences, develop global plan to fight racism, Annan tells UN conference

The world community must set aside individual disagreements and develop a global plan to fight discrimination, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today as the World Conference against Racism opened in Durban, South Africa.

Top UN rights official says new strategies needed to fight racism

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, today said delegates meeting in Durban, South Africa, at the World Conference against Racism should focus on its fundamental aims and devise new strategies to fight the scourge.

Security Council seeks proposals on how to respond to illicit small arms trade

Underscoring the destabilizing and harmful effects of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, the Security Council today requested Secretary-General Kofi Annan to submit a set of recommendations on how the 15-member body can respond to the problem.

Following first-ever elections, East Timor begins to count ballots: UN mission

There were no reported problems as vote-counting got underway in East Timor this morning - one day after the territory's first democratic elections, according to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).

Afghanistan: Annan concerned at Taliban's reported detention of aid workers

Reacting to the Taliban's reported detention of aid workers trying to help the beleaguered people of Afghanistan, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged the group to assure the security of humanitarian personnel in the country.

UN refugee agency proposes solution to ongoing Christmas Island boat saga

The United Nations refugee agency today proposed a plan to resolve the stalemate that has kept more than 450 people - mostly Afghans - aboard a container ship off Christmas Island for the past five days.

In second "wrap-up" meeting ever, Security Council reviews past month's work

For the second time in its history, the United Nations Security Council today held a public wrap-up discussion of its work for the month, led by the delegation of Colombia, which held the presidency for August.

UNHCR suspends screening of Afghans following deportations from Pakistan

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today announced the suspension of its screening programme for Afghans living in Pakistan after the country's authorities deported 28 families.

Refugees return to FYR of Macedonia despite roadblocks: UNHCR

Ethnic Albanians using side roads continued to return to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from Kosovo at a rate of about 2,000 a day despite blockages of main roads by ethnic Macedonians opposed to their return, the United Nations refugee agency said today.

As more Colombians flee violence, UN agency opens office in nearby Venezuela

Seeking to protect Colombians fleeing armed conflict in their home country, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is set to officially open a field office today in San Cristobal, Venezuela, near the Colombian border.