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In Moscow, Secretary-General and Russian President review regional hotspots

At the start of his two-day official visit to the Russian Federation, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today held in-depth discussions with President Vladimir Putin on regional hotspots around the world, including the Balkans, the Middle East and Iraq.

Sierra Leone defence force and rebel group agree to stop fighting: UN mission

With a United Nations envoy acting as a witness, high-level representatives of the Government of Sierra Leone and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) today pledged to stop fighting as they met for the first time at UN-chaired talks in Freetown.

Annan welcomes conclusion on constitutional framework for Kosovo

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the conclusion of a key legal document paving the way for provisional self-government in Kosovo.

Fund for better food standards in world's poorest States proposed at UN meeting

Participants attending a United Nations conference on the world's poorest States proposed today a number of new initiatives aimed at alleviating poverty and promoting development in these "least developed" nations, also known as LDCs.

World's poorest countries falling further behind developing world: UNICEF

The world's poorest countries slipped further behind other developing nations during the 1990s, keeping hundreds of millions of people - almost half of them children - mired in abject poverty, according to a report released today by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

US contribution to global anti-AIDS fund hailed by UN health agency

The head of the United Nations health agency has welcomed the recent United States contribution of $200 million to a global fund aimed at fighting AIDS and other infectious diseases.

International Day of Families marked

The International Day of Families was commemorated globally today under the theme "Families and Volunteers: Building Social Cohesion."

Over 42 per cent of East Timorese population registered to vote: UN mission

More than 42 per cent of the East Timorese population - roughly 346,000 people - have been registered by the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in preparation for the territory's elections on 30 August, the UN mission said today.

Iraq: Security Council committee places more humanitarian contracts on hold

Over the past week, the Security Council committee monitoring the sanctions against Iraq had placed more humanitarian contracts on hold than it released, according to the statistics released today by the United Nations office running the oil-for-food programme.

Somalia: UN helps to train refugees in landmine awareness

Tens of thousands of Somali refugees living in two camps in Djibouti are being trained in mine awareness and safety measures by the United Nations in order to reduce possible future injuries and fatalities should they encounter mines or unexploded ordnance upon their return home, the UN office in Somalia announced today.