Cities in Africa and Asia to double in size by 2030: UN Population Fund

The population of African and Asian cities will double by 2030, adding 1.7 billion people, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says in a new report which calls for addressing rising urbanization by helping the poor.

World economic growth rate projected to drop to 3 per cent in 2007 – UN estimate

The world can expect a robust economic growth rate of 3.6 per cent this year but a deceleration to 3 per cent is projected for 2007, according to the latest United Nations assessment.

Annan again calls for restructuring trade in favour of poor nations

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today again called on the world’s wealthy countries to “go the extra mile” to re-balance the rules of the trading system in favour of the poor and push ahead as soon as possible with the so-called Doha Round of talks which seeks to achieve such a restructuring.

Panda sanctuary, tequila area join UN World Heritage sites

Giant panda sanctuaries in China, a tequila-producing area in Mexico, a millennia-old irrigation system in Oman and renaissance palaces in Italy are among 18 new sites admitted to the World Heritage List of humanity’s outstanding natural and cultural legacy, bringing to total to 830, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said today.

UN considers new additions to World Heritage List of outstanding sites

The United Nations World Heritage Committee has opened its 30th session in Vilnius, Lithuania, to pick new candidates to join a list that already includes sites as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the baroque cathedrals of Latin America.

Environment is a winner at 2006 World Cup, UN agency says

A pioneering initiative to make the 2006 FIFA World Cup not only entertaining but environmentally-friendly is has already emerged as a winner, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said today.

UN health agency accelerates election of new chief, setting November timetable

Accelerating the process of electing a new head of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) following last week’s sudden death of Director-General Dr. Lee Jong-wook, the Agency’s Executive Board today set a November timetable for the selection.

UN expert urges reform of fishing subsidies at world trade talks

At the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Hong Kong today, a United Nations environment expert urged adjustment to the over $15 billion in annual fisheries subsidies worldwide which amount to roughly one fifth of fishing industry revenue and contribute to the dangerous depletion of global fish stocks.

Annan urges world trade talks to take steps to boost exports of poor countries

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged wealthy countries to set an unambiguous date to end “trade-distorting subsidies” and take other steps to give market access to developing countries, especially in agriculture, allowing trade to improve living conditions around the world.

Senior officials of small islands call for economic revitalization as sugar prices decline

With a reduction in the price of sugar threatening the economies of sugar-producing small island developing states (SIDS), their senior government officials have called on the sixth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference, meeting in Hong Kong next month, to pay greater attention to the “special needs and specificities of small states.”