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UN calls for huge investments in water use for agriculture to slash hunger

With more than 850 million people worldwide suffering from chronic hunger and undernourishment, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today called for huge investments in water, agriculture and ecosystems to meet the goal of halving the number of hungry people by 2015.

Palestinian girl shot dead in UN-run school in Gaza Strip

A 10-year-old Palestinian girl was shot and killed today while lining up for afternoon assembly in the yard of a United Nations-run school in the occupied Gaza Strip at a time when firing was heard from the direction of the Israeli-controlled border area, the fifth such fatal incident in the territory in the past two years.

UN plans interim tsunami warning system that could be running almost at once

In a first step to prevent a repeat of the horrendous toll reaped a month ago by the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, the United Nations is developing an interim early warning system for the region that could be operational almost immediately until a longer-term fully-fledged mechanism is put in place.

UNESCO denounces yet one more journalist’s murder, this time in Haiti

In yet another denunciation of the murder of a journalist, this time in Haiti and reportedly by police, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has condemned this “intolerable attack on democracy and rule of law.”

UN refugee chief calls on Europe to develop comprehensive strategy on asylum

European Union (EU) countries can improve the management of refugee problems by focusing on reinforcing protection in the regions of origin, building greater capacity in transit countries and improving the quality of the EU’s own asylum systems, according to the head of the United Nations refugee agency.

UN and partners open the world’s first biodiversity park of its kind in Pakistan

With last month’s devastating Indian Ocean tsunami giving added urgency to environmental protection, the United Nations and its partners today officially opened the first biodiversity park of its kind in the world in Morgah, Pakistan.

As Annan stresses inclusiveness after Iraqi elections, top UN envoy meets leaders

With United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan declaring that the success of Sunday’s elections augurs well for Iraq’s transition, his top representative in the country today met with leading politicians to stress the need to bring all Iraqis together in shaping the future of their nation.

Housing ministers meet at UN-sponsored conference on reducing slums in Africa

Senior African officials started a five-day United Nations meeting in South Africa today to find ways of improving urban slums in which four-fifths of the dwellers have no access to running water and more than 90 per cent lack access to a sewerage system.

Hundreds flee attack, gather near UN peacekeepers in eastern DR of Congo

About 2,500 people have fled a village they said came under attack by militias in the Ituri district in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and have gathered near United Nations peacekeepers nearby, the UN mission in the country said today.

Indonesia welcomes more permanent UN presence in Aceh for tsunami relief

The Indonesian military has welcomed a more permanent United Nations presence to reinforce aid coordination in the city of Calang in Aceh province, the area most devastated by last month’s tsunami, and infrastructure for a UN office is on the way there while several agencies already have staff on the ground.