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Bird flu: UN agency calls for mass cullings, international aid for compensation

With a highly contagious strain of bird flu erupting in Asia and fears that in a worst case scenario it could mutate into a deadly human-to-human infection, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today called for speedy mass killing of exposed birds and international aid to farmers hit by the measures.

UN refugee agency urgently appeals for aid for Sudanese fleeing to Chad

Declaring that it is in a race against time, the United Nations refugee agency today issued an urgent appeal for funds for its emergency operation to help up to 135,000 Sudanese who have fled into barren remote parts of eastern Chad from fighting in their own country.

Health professionals to promote new code of conduct on tobacco control – UN

To stem trends in tobacco use, which currently causes nearly 5 million deaths each year, healthcare professionals at a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting in Geneva today agreed to promote a new code of conduct which includes a pledge to quit smoking.

Senior UN refugee official meets Colombian asylum seekers in Ecuador

A senior official of the United Nations refugee agency is in Ecuador today continuing the second part of a week-long mission that began in Colombia, which has sent large numbers of asylum seekers to its South American neighbour.

UN electoral team set to travel to Iraq in a 'few days,' Annan says

An electoral team from the United Nations should be heading to Iraq in a few days to assess the feasibility of holding elections before the transfer of sovereignty at the end of June, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

Venezuela: Annan welcomes decision to have international observation of voting

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the decision by Venezuela's National Electoral Council to involve international observers in the search by government and opposition for a constitutional solution to the country's political stalemate.

Annan hails agreement on new transitional charter for Somalia

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the accord signed by Somali leaders on the political transition of their country, which has long been wracked by war and poverty.

Security Council extends UN mandate in Western Sahara until April

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission to Western Sahara, due to expire tomorrow, until the end of April.

Georgia: Security Council extends UN mission through July

The Security Council today unanimously extended the 10-year-old United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) through July after Secretary-General Kofi Annan reported that it was critical to maintaining stability along the ceasefire lines between Georgian and Abkhaz separatist forces.

Security Council extends mandate of UN force in Lebanon until end of July

Calling on the Government of Lebanon to return its effective authority over its southern area bordering Israel, the United Nations Security Council today extended for six months the mandate of the UN force in the area.