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To scale up efficiency, UN agencies jointly launch information-sharing initiative

To scale up efficiency, UN agencies jointly launch information-sharing initiative

United Nations agencies today joined forces on a new online project to share information and expertise, as part of a broader Organization-wide effort to boost efficiency by eliminating duplicate activities and cutting costs.

The UNe-Learn initiative, launched by 16 UN agencies in Berlin, will help 160 developing countries access a wide array of training and other resources.

As part of the UN's “delivering as one” concept, the new schemes seeks to improve cohesiveness among different UN entities to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets, by their 2015 deadline.

“The work of the UN country teams will ultimately be strengthened through this collaboration and Member States will be better served,” said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which organized the Berlin forum.

The UN and related agencies taking part in the scheme are: the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN University (UNU), UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), UN System Staff College (UNSSC), UN Secretariat in New York, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP), Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), World Tourism Organization (WTO), UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNCHR), International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), World Health Organization (WHO), UNEP, UNEP's Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (UNEP CITES) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

In a related development, nearly two dozen species – including the cheetah and the reclusive Irrawaddy Dolphin – have just received additional international protection, UNEP announced today.

The decision was taken by 85 Governments during this week''s meeting in Rome of the 9th Conference of the Parties to UNEP's Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

Most proposals were approved to boost conservation of endangered land and marine animals that cross international borders. Some dolphin and whale species were listed for the first time in Appendix I of the Convention, listing them as in danger of extinction, while four shark species were added to Appendix II, listing them as suffering from unfavourable conservation status and in need of international cooperation.

Participants also adopted several resolutions, including one to reduce noise pollution from vessels, sonars and other sources for whales, dolphins and other marine species.