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On World Press Freedom Day, UN officials urge protection for journalists

As World Press Freedom Day was marked globally today, United Nations officials warned that free speech remains fragile and urged greater protection for journalists seeking to exercise that right.

A free press can dispel racist attitudes and promote tolerance, UN panel told

The role of free press in combating racism by dispelling stereotypes and casting a harsh light on the evils of discrimination emerged as a major theme today at a panel discussion that brought together United Nations officials and media practitioners to mark World Press Freedom Day.

UN, US begin new decade on better footing - Annan

With the removal of the dues question as a "needless irritant," the United States and the United Nations can move forward on a new path of greater cooperation, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told a group of former US Ambassadors in New York today.

Major players in Sierra Leone peace process review ceasefire accord

Although the warring parties in Sierra Leone have virtually stopped fighting in recent months, both sides have been slow to implement elements of their ceasefire agreement, according to a review of the country's peace process.

Afghanistan: top UN refugee official continues push for temporary ceasefire

The United Nations top refugee official continued today his mission in Afghanistan, pressing for a temporary ceasefire so that relief workers could reach civilians currently inaccessible in the war-ravaged country.

14 new members elected to UN's main human rights body

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today elected 14 new members to the Geneva-based Commission on Human Rights, the major UN body working to promote and protect human rights.

Lebanon: UN envoy meets foreign minister on plans to reconfigure UN mission

A United Nations envoy in Lebanon today held "cordial and friendly" discussions with Lebanese Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud, who received from the UN official a copy of the Secretary-General Kofi Annan's latest report on the UN mission in the country (UNIFIL).

Funds for family planning supplies needed to curb HIV/AIDS, UN agency warns

Addressing a conference of international donors and officials from developing countries, the head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today warned of a sharp gap in funding for family planning supplies that are needed to combat the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

Kosovo: refuting press reports, UN envoy says work on legal framework goes on

The top United Nations official in Kosovo today denied reports published in the Belgrade media that a legal framework for interim self-government had been completed without including the concerns of the Kosovo Serbs.

UN health agency, drug company team up to fight sleeping sickness in Africa

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) and a major pharmaceutical company today announced a major step forward in combating African Trypanosomiasis, better known as sleeping sickness.