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UN to release new list of ‘Ten stories the world should hear more about’

Concerned that some issues continue not to receive sustained media attention or slip off the radar screen, the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) will unveil today a new list of "Ten Stories the World Should Hear More About."

The initiative, first launched in 2004, is not meant to be representative of the Organization's agenda. As in previous years, the 2006 list covers a spectrum of issues and geographical regions, some of which draw on troubling humanitarian emergencies and conflict situations (such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nepal) while others focus on such vital areas as human rights (asylum law and child prisoners) and development (Liberia and water as a shared resource). While the stories will be enumerated from one to ten, their ranking is not a reflection of their relative significance. In this year's list, some stories focus on conflicts that may have been in the media spotlight – but highlight a perspective that does not usually get much play.

"The media and the UN share an interest in getting information about what is happening in our world to the public, "says Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. "But journalists are often inundated with stories, all competing for their -- and the public's -- attention. Our aim is to make it easier for them to see that important issues do not fade from the headlines."

Although DPI takes responsibility for the final list, it was arrived at following extensive consultation with UN departments, field offices and programmes.

The 2006 list of Ten Stories will be announced at UN Headquarters in New York today during the daily press briefing at 12 p.m. To assist the press, DPI will provide additional information about the stories, including contacts for UN focal points on respective issues. All of these materials will be featured on a special Ten Stories web page that can also be accessed through the UN News Centre portal.

If you are interested in covering the stories further and require more details, or would like to arrange an interview or obtain additional photos or B roll footage, contact information is provided below:

Anjali Das, Tel: +1 212 963 0072, E-mail: das@un.org;
Mita Hosali, Tel: +1 212 963 1333, E-mail: hosali@un.org.