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Annan welcomes ceasefire announcement by Palestinian groups

Welcoming the ceasefire announcement made today by Palestinian groups, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on all parties to press ahead with the new Road Map peace plan to achieve the vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace.

Two UN agencies urge agriculture institutes to respond to the HIV crisis

Two United Nations agencies today urged agricultural ministries and institutions to urgently respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic ravaging many rural areas in developing countries and threatening millions with hunger.

As ECOSOC opens session, Annan urges global action on rural development

As the annual meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council got under way today in Geneva, Secretary-General told the opening session that in the wake of recent world trade and development conferences which have defined the path to erasing poverty, especially in rural areas, the challenge now "is not to decide what to do, but rather, simply, to do it."

Food safety a right of all people, top UN official tells meeting on food standards

Food safety is not a luxury of the rich, but a right of all people, a top UN official today told representatives from 169 countries gathered in Rome, Italy, to consider the adoption of new standards to safeguard the health of consumers worldwide, while improving global agricultural trade opportunities.

Liberia: Security Council meets on Annan's call for multi-national force

The United Nations Security Council held closed-door consultations today to discuss Secretary-General Kofi Annan's call for the deployment of a multi-national force in Liberia to prevent the volatile situation in the war-torn West African country from deteriorating into a massive humanitarian catastrophe.

UN envoy opens Baghdad workshop on bringing rights violators to justice

Noting that at least 300,000 people disappeared in Saddam Hussein's detention centres and torture chambers, United Nations envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello opened a two-day workshop in Baghdad today to discuss with Iraqis, international experts and members of the United States-run interim authority how to attain justice.

UN ends 10-year peacekeeping presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The United Nations liaison offices in Zagreb, Sarajevo and Belgrade will complete their mandate and close at midnight today, marking the end of the world body's 10-year peacekeeping presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Adjusting UN activities in Central African Republic could help smooth transition - Annan

In the Central African Republic (CAR) - where chronic instability has been aggravated by a security situation "not fully under control" either before or after the latest coup - a temporary adjustment of United Nations programmes and agencies in the country could provide support for a smooth transition, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report out today.

Ethiopian and Eritrea peace process still at a critical stage - Annan

The Ethiopian-Eritrean peace process continues to be at a critical stage and lasting peace cannot be based on temporary arrangements, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report released today.

As Blix leaves office, Annan lauds UN arms inspector's 'steadfast integrity'

Hans Blix, the head of United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq, concluded his term of office today, receiving expressions of “profound gratitude” from Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who voiced his admiration for Mr. Blix’s ability to handle the intense demands of his tasks.