The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, has called on the World Conference Against Racism - to be held in South Africa later this year - to come-up with practical ways to make a "seminal difference" in the fight against racism and xenophobia around the world.

United Nations peacekeeping troops last week took control of the strategic Sierra Leonean town of Lunsar, marking a major step in the UN's effort to occupy territory held by the anti-government Revolutionary United Front.

Staving off conflict and finding paths to peace are top of the agenda at a meeting of lawmakers from the European Parliament and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

The Sudanese government has denied claims by British development agency Christian Aid that atrocities are being committed by its forces in areas around oil fields.

A United Nations-led inter-agency mission to Angola has reacted with alarm to the numerous allegations of human rights abuses it heard on its six-day visit.