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Landmark UN tobacco-control treaty becomes law

The United Nations global treaty on tobacco came into force yesterday with a plea to all countries to join the landmark compact that seeks to curb a product that now claims nearly 5 million lives worldwide each year and causes an estimated annual net loss of $200 billion in treatment and lost productivity.

UN Palestinian refugee agency seeks $1.1 billion over five years

The main United Nations agency helping Palestinian refugees today presented a $1.1-billion blueprint to improve the life chances of 4 million Palestinians and enhance their ability to support themselves over five years.

UN atomic watchdog seeks ‘full transparency’ from Iran on all nuclear activities

The United Nations agency entrusted with preventing the spread of nuclear weapons called on Iran today to provide “full transparency” on all its nuclear activities, noting that information on some outstanding issues was still pending, while progress has been made on others.

First US football, now Australian rugby scores for UN tsunami relief

First it was the United States with football. Now it is Australia with rugby with a bit of on-site fieldwork to assist the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in its emergency operations to feed the hundreds of thousands of people left destitute by the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Give now to pre-empt repatriation crisis in south Sudan, says UN refugee chief

The acting United Nations refugee chief has appealed to the international community to pre-empt a crisis in south Sudan before it happens by investing now in the cash-strapped operation to help 4.5 million refugees and displaced people return home and stay home.

Empowering women the most effective development tool, Annan says

Since the founders of the United Nations noted their faith in “the equal rights of men and women” on the first page of the UN Charter 60 years ago, studies have shown that “there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

UN civil service panel has crucial role in ensuring success of reform – Annan

As the United Nations prepares to enact far-reaching reforms to meet the new challenges of the new millennium, the panel coordinating the conditions of staff service has a crucial role to play to ensure that the world body can attract personnel of the highest competence and integrity, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

Annan denounces Iraqi terror attack as seeking to undermine peace and democracy

Condemning the latest terrorist attack in Iraq as "a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law" that seeks to undermine the prospects of peace, democracy and prosperity, Secretary-General Kofi Annan vowed today that the United Nations will continue to stand by the Iraqi people as they try to rebuild their country.

UN pullout would leave Timor-Leste facing insurmountable challenges, Security Council told

The withdrawal from Timor-Leste of United Nations military liaisons and police trainers as scheduled later this spring might leave the country facing insurmountable challenges in its path towards peace and stability, the top UN envoy to the nation told the Security Council today.

One prisoner killed, several hurt in attempt to escape from UN jail in DR of Congo

One prisoner was killed and four others injured when a United Nations peacekeeping sentinel opened fire during an attempted escape by militia members from a makeshift jail in northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) late last week, the UN mission in the country said today.