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Wild birds likely to spread potentially deadly bird flu far and wide - UN agency

The deadly strain of bird flu that has hit several countries in Asia is likely to be carried over long distances along the flyways of wild water birds to the Middle East, Europe, South Asia and Africa, with the potential to trigger a global human pandemic, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today.

Migrants in tsunami-hit Thai regions need more access to health services, says UN study

Migrants living in areas affected by last year's tsunami need better access to maternal and child health services, family planning and information on preventing HIV infection, according to a United Nations-sponsored study.

With food prices rising and funds falling, UN seeks urgent aid for southern Africa

Struggling to feed millions of people in Southern Africa and already facing a nearly $200 million funding shortfall, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today voiced “serious concern” over soaring maize prices, which could deprive aid from all but a fraction of those who will need it.

Israel’s Gaza pullout must lead to West Bank, East Jerusalem exit – UN committee

A United Nations committee on Palestinian rights has called for Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza to be followed by similar steps in the whole of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, leading to a just and lasting solution of the Middle East conflict.

UN, China agree to cooperate on civil and political rights program

The United Nations human rights office today said that it and China signed a memorandum of understanding designed to help that country implement recommendations on economic, social and cultural rights and at facilitating its ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

African traditional medicine could contribute to HIV prevention – UN

Traditional health practitioners who have strong advisory roles and influence on community behaviour in Africa could contribute significantly to HIV prevention efforts on the continent, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today.

Annan expresses sympathy for Hurricane Katrina victims

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today expressed his sympathy for victims of Hurricane Katrina in the United States and extended condolences to those affected by the storm.

Iraq: UN pledges help following bridge tragedy in Baghdad

The United Nations today pledged the world body’s full help following the “catastrophic loss of hundreds of lives” when a large number of pilgrims, many of them women and children, died in the crush of a crowd crossing a bridge over the Tigris River in Baghdad.

Local communities need to control local resources to defeat poverty – UN report

Challenging conventional approaches in the war on poverty, a new United Nations-backed report today stressed the urgent need to look beyond aid projects, debt relief and trade reform and focus on local natural resources to address the crisis in all parts of the globe.

Ahead of September World Summit, Annan stresses importance of MDGs

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today gave a ringing endorsement for advancing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at next month’s United Nations World Summit, saying the targets that seek to cure of a host of global socio-economic ills by 2015 form the basis of a mutual pact between developing and developed countries.