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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.

Tobacco a major obstacle to children's rights: UN health agency

Tobacco poses a major obstacle to children's rights, infringing upon their basic health and welfare, and exposing them to child labour in many parts of the world, the lead United Nations health agency said today.

Head of wildlife treaty urges airlines to rethink animal shipment boycotts: UNEP

The head of an international convention on wildlife said today that boycotts by airline companies of shipments containing legally traded wildlife work against the interests of the animals themselves and of poor people in developing countries, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Europe uses more nuclear power than North America, UN agency reports

European countries -- led by France and Lithuania -- are the predominant users of nuclear energy around the world, according to new statistics released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Olympic Truce Foundation to meet at UN Headquarters

The International Olympic Truce Foundation's Board of Directors will meet next Tuesday at United Nations Headquarters, a UN spokesman announced today.

Security Council condemns exploitation of natural resources in DR of Congo

The United Nations Security Council today condemned the illegal exploitation of natural resources by individuals, governments and armed groups involved in the current conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Annan to get Philadelphia Liberty Medal; will donate cash prize to AIDS fund

Having been selected to receive a prestigious award for civic achievement, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will donate the accompanying cash grant to a proposed global fund to fight HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, a UN spokesman announced today.

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.