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More than ever, people around the world have access to a wide range of media sources. With the revolution in information technology, a crisis in one part of the world can easily be brought into the daily lives of all. But given the global reach of news stories, people are sometimes thought to be reaching saturation point; in view of the natural human tendency to focus on a few high-visibility emergencies, the Department of Public Information (DPI) has launched a list of stories that unfolded in the course of 2007 that the world may wish to hear more about.

“The media are our partners in getting the word out about what needs to be reported. But we all work with constraints and are guided by different priorities. I believe we can help highlight stories that may otherwise be forgotten,” reminds Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. "So when we talk about the fight against malaria, for example, we are not discounting the importance of AIDS or tuberculosis – but since we hear more about those diseases, we could also try and raise the profile of the strides made to eradicate malaria, an entirely preventable and curable disease."

The list is not meant to be representative of the spectrum of issues the United Nations is involved in – nor does it reflect the Secretary-General’s priorities as such. The stories are intended to engage a global audience in further inquiry, with a view to promoting a better understanding of how some issues might be given greater exposure. As in previous years, there are dimensions of conflicts that are neglected (Southern Sudan and Afghanistan) – or a phenomenon that has been somewhat overlooked (suffering of girl soldiers or the work of human rights rapporteurs). In other instances, inadequate attention may have been paid to the progress made in resolving crises (Northern Uganda) and pandemic preparedness (bird flu).

The latest list of Ten Stories was announced at UN Headquarters in New York on 27 March 2008. To assist the press, DPI is providing additional information about the stories, including contacts for UN focal points on respective issues.

Please contact us if you are interested in covering the stories further and require more details on the overall project, or would like to arrange an interview or obtain additional photos or B roll footage.