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Nearly 175 Timorese families displaced in 2006 fighting to return home – UN

Nearly 175 families uprooted in the violence that swept through Timor-Leste three years ago are set to return to their homes today, a move welcomed by the United Nations as a breakthrough in efforts to tackle the issue internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the young nation that the world body helped shepherd to independence in 2002.

Postal services a key element of development, says Ban Ki-moon

Marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) as a United Nations agency, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has highlighted the important role of postal services, especially at a time when hundreds of millions of people have relocated from their country of origin and are anxious to share news and resources with their relatives.

New UN-backed network to link development partners in sub-Saharan Africa

The United Nations agency tasked with tackling rural poverty announced today that it will help finance a new knowledge network connecting development partners in sub-Saharan Africa.

Colombia: UN experts call for ending violence against human rights defenders

A group of independent United Nations experts have called for urgent measures to protect those defending human rights in Colombia, following a recent surge in violence that includes killings, harassment and intimidation of civil society activists, trade union leaders and lawyers representing victims.

New UN envoy discusses Afghanistan with United States officials

The new United Nations envoy to Afghanistan has just wrapped two days of meetings with United States officials in Washington, D.C., during which they expressed their full support for the world body’s efforts in the strife-torn nation.

UN to draw up comprehensive plan to address world food crisis

The United Nations is aiming to have a comprehensive plan to tackle the global food crisis in place by the beginning of June, “around which the institutions and leaders around the world can coalesce,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes said today.

Small arms thwart stability and development, Security Council told

The threat to international peace and security posed by the uncontrolled trade in small arms and their excessive accumulation and proliferation cannot be overemphasized, a senior United Nations official told the Security Council today.

Gaza power supplies critically low, warns UN

Due to disruptions at the Nahal Oz fuel crossing – which was attacked earlier this month by Palestinian militants – fuel supplies for Gaza are critically low, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) warned today.

Iraq must spend more on basic services, particularly for children, says UN envoy

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict has called on the Iraqi Government to spend more on basic services, noting that a large portion of the strife-torn nation’s children are going to school or receiving proper care.

Secretary-General to chair upcoming Middle East Quartet meeting

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will chair a meeting of the diplomatic Middle East Quartet – comprising the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States – later this week in London.