Pledges must be turned into action to combat AIDS in Africa, UN agency says

The commitments made at international conferences on AIDS this year must be turned into action if the epidemic is to be effectively pushed back in Africa and other seriously affected areas, the head of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said today.

Buffer between Ethiopia, Eritrea ‘calm and stable,’ UN mission says

Despite accusations of violations of the temporary buffer zone between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the United Nations mission in the region (UNMEE) today said the area was "calm and stable" and that the peace process remained on track.

DR of Congo: group of Rwandan rebel ex-combatants identified by UN mission

In a move leading up to the process of disarming and reintegrating ex-combatants, the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) has screened and identified 56 soldiers from a Rwandan rebel group who were being treated in a hospital.

Security Council urges rebel groups in Burundi to cease hostilities

With the conclusion of a ceasefire the "number one" priority in Burundi, members of the Security Council today strongly condemned the "unjustifiable" attacks launched by rebels since the country's transitional government came into office on 1 November.

African officials at UN-sponsored talks call for new effort to cut hygiene-related deaths

African ministers meeting at a United Nations-sponsored conference on freshwater issues called today for a new international effort to cut hygiene-related deaths, marking a new strategy in water policy for the continent.

Central African Republic: Security Council deeply concerned at continuing violence

Security Council members today voiced their "profound concern" at the continuation of acts of violence and the intensification of internal tensions in the Central African Republic (CAR), and appealed again for the parties to engage in "dialogue and appeasement."

Burkina Faso among countries worst hit by HIV/AIDS, UN report says

About half a million people in Burkina Faso - or close to 10 per cent of the adult population - are infected with HIV/AIDS, making it one of the worst hit countries in the world, according to a new report published with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Attacks in Liberia put thousands of civilians at risk, UN relief official says

A top United Nations humanitarian official today voiced concern at attacks by alleged dissidents in Liberia that have put thousands of civilians at risk.

Sierra Leone: reintegration of ex-fighters a key phase, UN mission chief says

The reintegration and rehabilitation of ex-combatants is a vital phase requiring the help of the international community, the head of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) told a high-level Canadian delegation visiting the country to observe the ongoing disarmament of former soldiers.

Annan announces plans to set up UN Office for West Africa

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has signalled his intention to set up a new United Nations Office for West Africa to enhance the coordination of work by the UN and its partners in the subregion, according to documents released today at UN Headquarters in New York.