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With Africa in crisis, UN food agency head calls for long-term strategies

Declaring that Africa is facing its worst humanitarian crisis in history, the head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today called for aid to be used not just as a “band aid” in emergencies but as part of a long-term strategy to enhance self-reliance for the African people themselves.

UN urges balance between economy and conservation in tropical fish trade

With over 20 million tropical fish being harvested each year in a trade worth up to $330 million to supply the booming aquarium market in Europe and the United States, the United Nations environmental agency today called for a proper balance between preserving valuable ecosystems and helping local people battle poverty.

UN envoy arrives in Myanmar seeking democracy leaders’ release

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s special envoy to Myanmar arrived in the South Asian country again today on a three-day mission in a bid to secure the release of detained democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other officials of her party.

Hundreds of Liberians flee into Guinea fearing continued fighting – UN agency

Hundreds of Liberian refugees continue to flee into Guinea, fearing persistent fighting between government and rebel forces in the central part of the country despite an overall improvement in the security situation, the United Nations refugee agency said today.

Move of displaced Chechens in Ingushetia ‘positive’ solution– UN agency

The last group of Chechens at a refugee camp in Ingushetia has voluntarily moved to another camp in the Russian republic, allowing the closure of Camp Bella and marking a “positive step towards better cooperation” with local authorities, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced today.

Israel uses excessive force and annexation in Palestinian territories – UN report

Israel is using excessive force in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), violating human rights in the name of counter-terrorism, and its building of a “separation wall” and expansion of settlements bear the hallmarks of annexation and illegal “conquest,” according to a United Nations human rights report released today.

Bosnian Serb agrees to guilty plea at UN war crimes tribunal

A Bosnian Serb accused of burning down a Muslim village in 1992 has pleaded guilty to crimes against humanity today at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.

Working justice systems vital for UN peacekeeping success, Security Council told

Establishing the rule of law and a functioning justice system and eliminating impunity for war crimes are vital to United Nations peacekeeping operations in order to retain the confidence of the population of countries that have been torn apart by conflict, a senior UN official told the Security Council today.

Annan selects commanders of UN peacekeepers in Liberia and DR of Congo

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has announced his intention to appoint generals from Kenya and Nigeria to lead United Nations peacekeepers in Liberia and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Security Council sanctions committee to visit Somalia in bid to boost arms ban

Members of the United Nations Security Council committee overseeing sanctions against Somalia will visit the area next month in a bid to boost enforcement of the arms embargo.