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Assembly President hails new momentum for global anti-poverty goals

As the General Assembly wraps up the main part of its 65th session, its President today hailed the summit with which it opened for galvanizing momentum towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reverse a global legacy of poverty and attendant ills.

Journalists working in conflict areas need better protection, UN agency stresses

The United Nations agency mandated to defend freedom of expression and press freedom today called for improved safety for journalists and other media professionals working in areas of conflict or social unrest so they can carry out their duties.

Security Council extends mandate of UN observer force in Golan Heights

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations force observing the ceasefire between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights for a further six months, until 30 June 2011.

Afghan wheat sale marks UN agency’s largest local purchase ever

In a groundbreaking agreement, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will buy enough wheat directly from farmers in Afghanistan to help feed more than 500,000 people in the country for three months, marking the largest local purchase ever by the agency.

Somalia: UN calls for 4,000 more African Union peacekeepers

The Security Council today called for a 50 per cent increase to 12,000 troops in the United Nations-backed African Union (AU) peacekeeping force in Somalia, which has been trying to bring stability to a country torn apart by 20 years of factional fighting.

UN panel optimistic South Sudan referendum will proceed despite hurdles

The head of the United Nations panel tasked with monitoring next month’s landmark referendum on the self-determination of Southern Sudan said today that his team believed that the vote will take place as planned despite remaining challenges, including limited resources and the need to raise awareness among voters.

Gaza: UN official asks Israel to use restraint in responding to rocket attacks

Condemning mounting rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel, a senior United Nations official today acknowledged Israel’s right to self-defence but urged it to use maximum restraint and ensure that civilians are not endangered.

Departing UN mission in Chad and Central African Republic hands over projects

The United Nations mission in Chad and the Central African Republic (MINURCAT) has handed over its programmes to the Government of Chad and the UN agencies in the country as it prepares to wind up its responsibilities there at the end of this month.

Security Council sets up new body to finish work of UN war crimes tribunals

The Security Council today set up a new body to finish the remaining tasks of the United Nations war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, while calling on the courts to conclude their work by the end of 2014.

NEWSMAKER: UN messenger Paulo Coelho rejects idea of clash of civilizations

United Nations Messenger of Peace Paulo Coelho gives short shrift to those who claim there is a clash of civilizations.