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Girls in Developing Nations Denied Primary Education

"Millions of girls in developing nations are being denied a primary education even as the number of boys in school grows, according to a report by the United Nations Children's Fund, Unicef. The widest disparity between education received by boys and girls is in the Middle East and North Africa, West and Central Africa and South Asia, Unicef said today on its Web site in the Progress for Children report. In those regions, women often have less social prestige than men and are required to work from an early age, according to the report." LINK
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UN Reports No Security Improvement in Darfur

UN News Service: "Clashes between the Government and rebels in Sudan's western Darfur region, attacks against international aid workers, rape and the persecution of its victims, abuse of children, and torture by security forces, underscored a continuing dire situation, according to the latest United Nations report on the region released today. "The killing of civilians and combatants alike must stop and a genuine ceasefire must be observed," Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in the report for March, the latest in a monthly series mandated by the Security Council. He calls on all parties to abide by several agreements they have already signed."
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UN Video Game Encourages Kids to Feed, Not Kill

"The jungle territory that hides lurking rebel forces makes it look like a shoot-em-up adventure, but in this video game -- from the U.N.'s food aid agency -- the aim is to feed the masses rather than blow them away. The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) hopes the game "Food Force," in which players direct aid workers trying to help the poor, will teach children about the problems of feeding the hungry, especially those trapped in war zones." Read the rest...
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UN Commission Calls for Intensified Fight Against HIV/AIDS

"The United Nations Commission on Population and Development has called on the international community to assist developing countries in fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic by scaling up development aid. In a unanimously adopted resolution at the end of its thirty-eighth session yesterday, the Commission urged "the international community to complement and supplement, through increased international development assistance, efforts of the developing countries that commit increased national funds to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic." It drew particular attention to the problematic situation "in Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, and the Caribbean, countries at high risk of expansion of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and countries in other affected regions whose resources for dealing with the epidemic are seriously limited." The Commission stressed that HIV/AIDS has been intensifying poverty in many countries, affecting individuals, families and communities, reducing human capital and having profound and long-lasting effects on a country's social and economic development." Full Story
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UN Rights Panel Censures North Korea

"The United Nations Commission on Human Rights censured North Korea on Thursday for "widespread and grave violations," including torture, executions and forced abortions.... The resolution, brought by the European Union and Japan, was adopted 30 to 9, with 14 abstentions, including South Korea. The measure expressed deep concern about torture, public executions, arbitrary detention, infanticide, imposition of the death penalty for political reasons, the existence of a "large number of prison camps" and extensive use of forced labor." More
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Annan: US, UK Also Bear Blame in Oil-for-Food Controversy

REUTERS: "U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Thursday the United States and Britain bore part of the blame in the Iraq oil-for-food debacle by allowing unsupervised oil exports that Saddam Hussein exploited. Annan, addressing a seminar on the United Nations and the media, said most of the money Saddam earned was by oil sold to Jordan and Turkey outside of the $67 billion U.N. program."
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Annan: Billions of Promises to Keep

New York Times Op-Ed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan: "THIS is a make-or-break year for Sudan, Africa's biggest country. In Oslo this week, donor countries pledged $4.5 billion in aid to Sudan, but while I applaud the donors' generosity, promises alone are not enough. Time is running out for the people of Sudan. We need pledges immediately converted into cash and more protection forces in Darfur to prevent yet more death and suffering. If we fail in Sudan, the consequences of our actions will haunt us for years to come." Read the rest...
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After Annan’s Call, Donors Pledge $4.5 Billion for Sudan

UN News Service: "A two-day donors' conference to support the peace accord between the Government and rebels in southern Sudan has pledged $4.5 billion for 2005-2007, nearly $2 billion more than the amount United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan identified as needed to resurrect the ravaged region over the next two and a half years. Addressing the opening session yesterday in Oslo, Norway, Mr. Annan had appealed to participants to "pledge - and pledge generously," quipping when asked about the tendency of governments not to honour their pledges that "pledges are good, but cash is better."