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As tsunami anniversary nears, UN envoy Clinton visits worst hit area in Indonesia

United Nations tsunami envoy former United States President Bill Clinton continued his anniversary tour of regions devastated by the Indian Ocean disaster, visiting the Indonesian province of Aceh, the most ravaged area, and calling for a balance between the need for quick results and the achievement of lasting outcomes.

UN dream of rail link from Northern Europe to South East Asia moves step closer

The Trans-Asian Railway (TAR), a potential network of over 80,000 kilometres of routes linking 27 Member States of the United Nations regional body for Asia and the Pacific, gained new momentum today under a draft agreement that could boost transport ranging from trade to tourism as far as northern Europe.

UNICEF urges big boost in services to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission

The number of children becoming HIV positive every year – some 600,000 – could be more than halved if infected pregnant women received comprehensive services including anti-retroviral drugs, but less than 10 per cent are now getting them, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today.

UNICEF joins Egyptian university to boost child protection in Islamic world

With a disproportionate number of the 600 million children in the Islamic world facing huge challenges, from poverty and disease to lack of education and protection, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has teamed up with Egypt’s prestigious Al-Azhar University to produce a manual to improve child development.

UN seeks $4.7 billion for 26 humanitarian crises in 2006

Launching the United Nations yearly Humanitarian Appeal today, Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for donors to provide $4.7 billion for urgent support to 31 million people in 26 countries stricken by war, natural disasters, drought and a combination of such scourges worldwide.

Despite Annan's call for anti-terrorism pact by year's end, panel puts off action

Despite repeated calls from Secretary-General Kofi Annan to United Nations Member States to complete a treaty against all forms of terrorism by year's end, further action has been put off until February due to differences over a raft of issues ranging from the battle against occupation to the actions of regular armed forces.

Annan to begin 14-day trip to Asia this weekend

United Nations Secretary-General will start a 14-trip to Asia this weekend with official visits to China, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Vietnam that will deal with issues ranging from bird flu to UN reform, a UN spokesman said today.

UN-backed meeting calls for more donor aid to meet Education for All shortfall

Current rates of progress in school enrolment need to quadruple in sub-Saharan Africa and double in South Asia to reach the 2015 goal of providing all children with quality basic education, and donors need to double the billions of dollars of aid, the United Nations-backed High Level Group on Education for All (EFA) said today.

China: UN discusses sending disaster management team to site of toxic spill

Representatives of several United Nations agencies are discussing with the Chinese authorities a suitable date for a UN disaster management team to visit contaminated area of the Songhua River following a large explosion at a petro-chemical plant in China's Jilin Province earlier this month, a UN spokesman said today.

Ecuador: Annan hails new Court of Justice ending threat to judicial independence

Welcoming the appointment of a new Court of Justice in Ecuador, formally ending what a United Nations expert called a crisis that could irreversibly affect the independence of the judiciary, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced hope for the strengthened rule of law and protection of human rights in the small Andean country.