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US trading firm joins UN in co-sponsoring anti-drug basketball event: UN

A United States trading firm will co-sponsor "Basketball without Borders," an international effort to promote friendship and educate young people from the countries of the former Yugoslavia about the dangers of drug use, the United Nations announced today.

Netaid.org to help trace children in Guinea, Congo and East Timor

Netaid.org, a joint initiative by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Cisco Systems Inc., has announced the launch of a programme to help trace and reunify children separated from their families by armed conflict in Guinea, Republic of the Congo and East Timor.

Tighter Security Council sanctions against Liberia to take effect on Monday

New sanctions against Liberia, set out in a Security Council resolution adopted two months ago, will automatically take effect next week because Monrovia has not demonstrated compliance with the Council's demands, the President of that body said today.

Annan praises US human rights record after country loses seat on UN rights body

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said he understood the United States' disappointment at not being re-elected to the United Nations' top human rights body, but voiced hope that the country would remain engaged in the UN's work in that field, his spokesman told reporters in New York.

UN sets up task force in lead-up to General Assembly special session on AIDS

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today set up a new task force aimed at harnessing the momentum building towards the June special session of the General Assembly on HIV/AIDS, according to a United Nations spokesman.

Annan calls sentences in West Timor killings "wholly unacceptable"

Secretary-General Kofi Annan was "shocked" to learn of the light sentences handed down by a Jakarta court today to six men in connection with the murders of United Nations relief workers last year in West Timor, according to a statement issued today by his spokesman.

UN refugee official to hold high-level meetings in Pakistan on plight of Afghans

The top United Nations refugee official is in Pakistan today where he is to meet with high-level officials and tour areas hosting refugees from neighbouring Afghanistan in a bid to improve the relief effort in the region.

UN continues evacuating Sierra Leonean refugees from troubled Guinea area

A massive evacuation of Sierra Leonean refugees from an isolated and troubled area of Guinea is gaining momentum, according to a spokesman for the United Nations agency carrying out the task.

With funds from Japan, UN agencies to extend youth project in Balkans

The Japanese Government has pledged $400,000 to extend a United Nations-implemented initiative to build confidence among ethnically divided young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Despite past efforts, poorest countries still marginalized, "LDC" coordinator says

Despite two previous United Nations conferences to tackle the problems facing the world's poorest States, the "least developed countries" continue to be marginalized with regard to development, the coordinator of the group of least developed countries (LDCs) at the UN told reporters in New York yesterday.