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UN envoy briefs Iraq's President on support for political transition

The senior United Nations envoy to Iraq today held talks in Baghdad with the country's President on support for its ongoing political transition, including planned elections.

Annan hails political transition in Lebanon, pledges UN support

Welcoming the vote of confidence that has formally established Lebanon's new Government, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today pledged the world body's full support as the country works to consolidate stability.

Rape, sexual violence continue in Sudan’s Darfur region, UN reports

Armed elements in Sudan’s strife-torn Darfur region, including law enforcement officers and the military, continue to perpetrate rape and sexual violence, with the authorities seemingly unable or unwilling to hold them accountable, according to a new United Nations report released today.

Kyrgyzstan: Uzbek refugees fly out, but UN concerned for detainees left behind

More than 400 Uzbek refugees who fled violence in their homeland two months ago were flown to Romania from Kyrgyzstan today, but the United Nations refugee agency is still negotiating with Kyrgyz authorities over the fate of another 15 amid fears they could be returned to Uzbekistan where they could face torture.

FAO, Italian cooperation launch redevelopment effort in tsunami-hit Sri Lanka

In another United Nations-supported tsunami rehabilitation effort, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Italian Cooperation organization have concluded today a workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka, designed to put the mechanisms in place for the development of ravaged coastal fishing communities.

Ahead of Israel’s Gaza withdrawal, UNICEF rushes in supplies to isolated areas

With less than a month remaining before Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has completed final deliveries of aid supplies to some of the most isolated enclaves in the area.

Children challenge world leaders on the environment

Six hundred children from around the world gathered for the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) World Summit for the Environment in Japan, are challenging the world’s leaders to pay closer attention to energy, biodiversity, water and recycling.

Colombia: civilians blockaded after fighting between army and irregulars – UN

Cut off by an armed blockade following intense fighting in southern Colombia between irregular armed groups and the military, local communities are suffering from a severe shortage of food and other essential items, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

UNHCR to access condition of Montagnards returning from Cambodia

A United Nations refugee agency representative is scheduled to visit Viet Nam’s Central Highlands early next week to assess the condition of Montagnard tribesmen who returned home after they fled to Cambodia following a Government crackdown on protests against land confiscation and religious persecution last year.

Food aid programme for DR of Congo ex-combatants extended to June 2006, UN says

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today said it will extend its operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to feed tens of thousands of former militia members being demobilized in the coming months until next June, “buying them time to get back on their feet.”