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Congo Crisis: “One Tsunami Every Six Months”

ALERTNET: "Eastern Congo is suffering the world's worst current humanitarian crisis, with a death toll outstripping that in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region, a top United Nations official said on Wednesday. U.N. emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland said that over the last six years the toll in the Democratic Republic of Congo's amounted to "one tsunami every six months" -- a reference to the December disaster which left about 300,000 people dead or missing in Asia. "In terms of the human lives lost ... this is the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world today and it is beyond belief that the world is not paying more attention," he told a news conference."
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UN Hails Seminal Moment in Iraq’s History

"The United Nations hailed the convening of the new Iraqi Transitional National Assembly as a seminal moment with unlimited opportunities for the future of the war-torn country, pledging the world body's help in the tasks and challenges that lie ahead." Read more...
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“No Bystanders in the Struggle Against Racism and Discrimination”

REMARKS BY SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN AT DINNER HOSTED BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. MOSHE KATSAV, PRESIDENT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL Jerusalem, 15 March 2005 President Katsav, Mr. Speaker [of the Knesset, Mr. Ruben Rivlin] Distinguished Heads of State and Government, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a great pleasure to be here, and I would like to express my gratitude to the Government and people of Israel for the warm welcome they have extended to all of us. I would especially like to thank them for understanding how important it was for the United Nations to be represented at today's important moving event at Yad Vashem.
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Sen. Wirth Statement on UN Reform

Statement by Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, on United Nations Reform WASHINGTON - Former Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, issued the following statement regarding today's House International Relations Committee hearing [Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building] on UN reform. "The challenges of the 21st Century, including combating terrorism, alleviating poverty, addressing global climate change, stopping diseases like AIDS, and helping people recover after the devastation of natural disasters need the commitment of many nations and a United Nations even better prepared and able to meet these challenges. Secretary-General Kofi Annan recognizes the change and reform that is needed and is making modernization of the UN a top priority.
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UN Laments Donor Nations’ Lack of Generosity

"UN Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland complained Monday of lack of speed and generosity in most traditional donors' giving to humanitarian efforts worldwide. Egeland said he would meet with United Nations donor countries throughout Monday afternoon "to express the deep frustration of the humanitarian community" in the face of the limited resources being made available to them. Worst hit by the funding crisis is Africa. "We have received no money so far this year in most of our African humanitarian emergencies," said Egeland. "Even in high profile and highly risky, vulnerable situations like Sudan, we have too little funding to undertake our relief operation." More...
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UN Providing Humanitarian Support to Iraq

From UN News Service: "Visiting Basra in southern Iraq, the senior United Nations envoy to the country pledged the world body's assistance in helping that war-ravaged region to reconstruct.... Nearly two dozen UN funds, programmes and agencies are working under UNAMI to provide humanitarian support to Iraq and coordinate international aid." UPDATE: Chrenkoff has more: "United Nations Development Programme, too, is helping with the Iraqi electricity sector: it is facilitating the training of Iraqi engineers in Jordan; supplying equipment, expertise and planning to develop better networks; providing spare parts for maintenance of existing infrastructure, and working on new projects which will add between 180 and 200 MW to Iraq's grid."
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Annan in Mideast to Promote Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts

"United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan began a Mideast trip Sunday to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and attend the opening of a Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. Annan's spokesman said the U.N. chief offered to help coordinate peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians.... Annan has won praise in Israel for his tough stance on terrorism and the U.N. role in resolving a border dispute with Lebanon after Israel withdrew its forces from the country in 2000." Full Story