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Science can shield Africa from economic crisis, spur growth, UN official says

African governments must strongly support the development of new technologies to spur sustainable development and shield the continent from the global economic crisis, a senior United Nations official said today.

UN peacekeeping training to be held for first time in Austria

A course that shapes future military, police and political leaders for international peacekeeping operations will be held for the first time in Austria, the United Nations announced today.

Poor nations need temporary debt relief amid economic crisis – senior UN official

The head of the United Nations trade and development body has stressed the need for temporary debt relief for poor nations struggling amid the global economic downturn, stressing this would give them some breathing space and assist in recovery efforts.

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: UN expert speaks out on religious intolerance

An independent United Nations human rights expert today spoke out against reports of religious intolerance in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and expressed disbelief at the backlash targeted against a recent court decision to restrict religious teaching in public schools.

Afghanistan: UN agencies rushing relief to victims hit by natural disasters

United Nations agencies and their partners are assisting the Government of Afghanistan in responding to flash floods, landslides and earthquakes which have struck various parts of the country in recent days, killing at least 15 people and leaving thousands homeless.

UN pandemic alert still at Phase 5, as influenza A(H1N1) continues to spread

As it continued to intensively monitor the spread of the influenza A(H1N1) virus, the United Nations health agency today held its pandemic alert to Phase 5, put in place yesterday, and reiterated its call for heightened vigilance.

Security Council urges Cypriot leaders to step up UN-backed reunification talks

The Security Council today urged the political leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to accelerate momentum gained in United Nations-backed talks aimed at reunifying the Mediterranean island.

UN releasing over $3 million to aid southern African flood victims

The United Nations has released over $3 million in emergency relief funding in response to the devastation caused by torrential rains in southern Africa, which have led to the deaths of over one hundred people and left tens of thousands homeless, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.

DR Congo: top UN humanitarian official condemns new ‘terror and upheaval’

The top United Nations humanitarian official today condemned a resurgence of violence against civilians in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), amid a serious of offensives against a Rwandan militia group.

Rural poor worldwide to benefit from over $200 million in UN funding

Poverty eradication efforts in developing countries are set to receive a cash injection of over $200 million from the United Nations rural development arm this week to help off-set the impact of the global financial crisis.