Housing ministers meet at UN-sponsored conference on reducing slums in Africa

Senior African officials started a five-day United Nations meeting in South Africa today to find ways of improving urban slums in which four-fifths of the dwellers have no access to running water and more than 90 per cent lack access to a sewerage system.

Hundreds flee attack, gather near UN peacekeepers in eastern DR of Congo

About 2,500 people have fled a village they said came under attack by militias in the Ituri district in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and have gathered near United Nations peacekeepers nearby, the UN mission in the country said today.

Reports of violence still coming out of Sudan's Darfur region – UN

Reports of violence continue to come out of Sudan's western Darfur region and several routes in South Darfur state are currently closed for United Nations movement because of ongoing insecurity, the UN Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS) said today.

2005 should be year of renewal for UN and hope for Africa, Annan tells Abuja Summit

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on Africa's leaders to work for the twin goals of renewing the world body and providing hope to the continent.

In Africa, Annan stresses that peacekeepers must adhere to conduct standards

Meeting African leaders at a summit today in Abuja, Nigeria, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan sounded the alarm about peacekeepers who abuse civilians and reiterated his call for swift punishment of such egregious behaviour.

Despite bumper harvest, 2.2 million Ethiopians need emergency food aid – UN

Despite a bumper harvest and a sharp reduction in needs, 2.2 million Ethiopians will still require emergency food assistance this year, while a further 5 million suffering from chronic hunger will receive cash and food transfers under a new safety net programme, according to a joint United Nation report issued today.

Preparing mass repatriation, UN refugee chief to visit West Africa

With West Africa now at the centre of a huge repatriation movement as hundreds of thousands of people uprooted by long-running civil wars return home, the head of the United Nations refugee agency begins a six-day mission to the region on Sunday for talks with all sectors, ranging from presidents to the returnees themselves.

No sign of any progress in deadlocked Western Sahara dispute - Annan

More than 13 years after they agreed to a ceasefire, the parties in Western Sahara remain deadlocked politically and there is no sign of any way to advance the stalled peace process, Secretary-General Kofi Annan tells the Security Council in his latest report on the work of the United Nations peacekeeping mission there.

Africa will get help with overwhelming challenges of urbanization – UN agency

The United Nations housing agency, the European Commission and several African governments have pledged to collaborate more in tackling the problems stemming from urban sprawl and largely unplanned cities in the continent.

Annan disturbed by reports of Sudan's deadly bombing raid on village in Darfur

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today he was deeply disturbed by reports that Sudanese Government airplanes have bombed a village in the north of the war-scarred Darfur region, killing or injuring as many as 100 people.