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General Assembly approves nearly $4.2 billion UN budget despite US opposition

Capping off days of intensive negotiations, the General Assembly has adopted a two-year budget of $4.17 billion for the United Nations, with the United States casting the lone negative vote.

UN agency reports surge in asylum seekers as Poland joins Schengen Zone

Poland has witnessed a sharp rise in the number of asylum seekers in the latter part of this year, particularly Chechens and Ingush from Russia, owing to fears that the country’s accession to the European border-free zone today will lead to stricter controls, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

UN expert lauds Mongolia’s treatment of asylum seekers from DPR Korea

A United Nations expert on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) today praised Mongolia’s treatment of asylum seekers from that country and its cooperation with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the issue.

Security Council extends UN office in Sierra Leone for final nine months

The Security Council today extended for a final period of nine months the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), during which the operation would take steps to progressively reduce its strength with a view to completing its mandate by next September.

Security Council calls on DR Congo rebels to disarm, end child recruitment

Concerned at the worsening situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where fighting has escalated between Government and renegade forces, the Security Council today demanded that all rebel groups lay down their arms and immediately stop recruiting children.

Next months vital for Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts – UN political chief

The top United Nations political officer today called for an Israeli freeze on settlements and removal of unauthorized outposts and for Palestinian steps to end violence, terrorism and incitement, warning that the next few months are critical for the renewed peace process between the two sides.

Ban Ki-moon outraged by terrorist attack on Pakistani mosque

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned today’s suicide bombing at a Pakistan mosque that claimed the lives of over 50 people and injured many others.

UN, Netherlands sign accord to base Lebanon Special Tribunal in The Hague

The United Nations and the Netherlands today signed an agreement to base in The Hague the court to judge recent assassinations in Lebanon, including that of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

After threats and harassment, UN aid workers seek better access in Burundi

Faced with threats of unwarranted taxes and harassment by an armed rebel group in Burundi, United Nations humanitarian officials are seeking better access to the province around Bujumbura, capital of the small Central African country that is emerging from decades of ethnic conflict.

UN global health report card: flu threat remains, progress made on TB, polio

The continued looming threat of a flu pandemic, outbreaks of Ebola, Marburg and other infectious diseases, and high female mortality rates during pregnancy and childbirth in developing countries are among the issues that mark 2007, according to the United Nations health agency.