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) has unveiled a new list of “Ten Stories the World Should Hear More About.”

“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.”

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

  1. Liberia: Development challenges top agenda as the nation recovers from years of civil strife
  2. Lost in migration: Asylum seekers face challenges amid efforts to stem flows of illegal migrants
  3. DR of Congo: As the country moves boldly towards historic vote, humanitarian concerns continue to demand attention
  4. Nepal’s hidden tragedy: Children caught in the conflict
  5. Somalia: Security vacuum compounding effects of drought
  6. Protracted refugee situations: Millions caught in limbo, with no solutions in sight
  7. South Asian earthquake: Relief effort saves lives, stems losses, but reconstruction tasks loom large
  8. Behind bars, beyond justice: An untold story of children in conflict with the law
  9. From water wars to bridges of cooperation: Exploring the peace-building potential of a shared resource
  10. Côte d’Ivoire: A strike away from igniting violence amidst a faltering peace process