UN peacekeeping mission’s mandate in Sierra Leone extended for final six months

The United Nations Security Council today extended the mandate of its peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone for a final six months, until the end of the year, and charged the national security forces with keeping order thereafter in the West African country which is recovering from a long civil war.

Humanitarian efforts in Sudan face $1.3 billion shortfall, UN warns

Programmes providing humanitarian assistance and protection in Sudan and supporting the recently-signed peace agreement there face a $1.3 billion funding shortfall out of the $1.9 billion needed for 2005, the United Nations warned today.

Chronic hunger in Africa threatens peace and stability, WFP chief warns

The greatest humanitarian crisis facing the world today is in southern Africa, where more than 8 million people face starvation, and a "lethal mix" of AIDS, recurring drought and failing governance is slowly destroying social structures and undermining peace and security, the head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned today.

Secretary-General welcomes renewed commitment to Côte d'Ivoire peace process

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today congratulated South African President Thabo Mbeki for negotiating with Côte d'Ivoire's major parties a renewed commitment to their latest peace accord, named the Pretoria Agreement, and called on the Ivorians to move quickly on implementation.

Annan calls for renewed efforts to improve health care systems in the developing world

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for serious efforts to build affordable and efficient health systems in the developing world, particularly in Africa, which will require 1 million new health workers to meet internationally agreed development targets for the 21st century.

Secretary-General urges Somali parties to begin talks on relocating interim government

To rebuild trust with the people of Somalia and the international community, Somali leaders must begin a serious dialogue to heal their divisions and end the controversy over the relocation of the fledgling government and its institutions from Kenya to Somalia, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report.

World's one-time largest refugee-hosting area now reduced to one UN camp

With the closing of Aisha camp this week, the United Nations refugee agency now operates just one camp housing 10,000 Somalis in eastern Ethiopia, an area which at one time hosted the world's largest concentration of refugees, with nearly 630,000 Somalis who had fled war and political turmoil at home.

International Criminal Court finds 'credible' information on grave crimes in Darfur

There is a "significant amount of credible information" to show that grave crimes have taken place in Sudan's Darfur region, and every effort will be made to identify those who bear the greatest responsibility, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) told the United Nations Security Council today.

Annan's Special Envoy on evictions meets Zimbabwean President, tours parts of capital

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Envoy, evaluating the humanitarian aspects of the recent evictions of some 200,000 poor people from housing in Zimbabwe, met President Robert Mugabe in the southern African country today and got the green light to go wherever she liked, a UN spokesman said.

Security Council urges DR of Congo to prepare peacefully for elections

With the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s parliament having extended the political transition for six months from tomorrow, the United Nations Security Council today called on the Congolese parties to prepare to conduct elections peacefully and on the DRC Government to be transparent in its financial dealings.