|Thursday, 23 May 2013|
United Nations Daily Highlights, 97-03-25
United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, 25 March 1997
This document is prepared by the Central News Section of the Department of Public Information and is updated every week-day at approximately 6:00 PM.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has concluded his official visit to Angola and has proceeded to Lome, Togo where he will attend a meeting of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
Before his departure, Mr. Annan addressed the National Assembly which included 58 out of a total of 70 UNITA deputies. He told the Assembly that stepping back from the brink of disaster, they had turned away from the calamitous path of violence and fratricide which had plagued that country for more than three decades.
"In a few days, I earnestly believe and hope that the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation will be officially sworn in," Mr. Annan said. He explained that national reconciliation required a shift in the national mood, and a new approach to government and to the states. "It requires you, as legislators, to work together with the executive branch of Government, to make decentralisation effective. That means that State administration must be extended throughout the country", he told the Assembly.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has launched the United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Angola on Tuesday, in Luanda. Mr. Annan called on the international community to continue to contribute generously throughout 1997 to help support efforts to consolidate peace in Angola, following nearly two decades of conflict.
The Appeal, which requires $228.4 million in contributions, is designed to meet the still extensive humanitarian needs in Angola and to provide a framework for the transition to national rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Since the signing of the Lusaka protocol by the government of Angola and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) in November 1994, the country has embarked on a difficult path towards national reconciliation and lasting peace. While much has been achieved since then, the return to civilian life of former combatants has yet to be attained.
An estimated 100,000 former combatants and their 340,000 family members will require humanitarian assistance until such time as the demobilisation process is completed.
United Nations Secretary-General's plan to abolish 1,000 posts would not hamper the Secretariat's performance, since most of the posts were vacant, and no involuntary separations were anticipated, Under-Secretary- General for Administration and Management, Joseph E. Connor, told the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) as it discussed Mr. Annan's reforms to strengthen the Organisation. In a question-and-answer session that also involved the Executive Coordinator for United Nations Reform, Maurice Strong, the Under- Secretary-General said that the Secretariat would implement the programmes in the medium-term plan for 1998 - 2001 and that the 1998 - 1999 regular budget's preparation was being guided by General Assembly decisions.
The Executive Coordinator, Maurice Strong, assured the Committee that the questions of poverty alleviation and the situation of the least developed countries would receive adequate attention in the reform process. He said the reform would strengthen support for sustainable development, the advancement of women, Africa's development, South-South cooperation and the sustainable development of small island developing States.
The Commission on the Status of Women recently concluded its forty- first session by adopting 14 texts, including agreed conclusions on four of the 12 critical areas of concern contained in the Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995.
In one of the eight resolutions adopted, serious concern was expressed about the unabating traffic in women and girl children. The Commission, which began its current session on 10 March, called on all governments to take appropriate measures to prevent misuse by traffickers of such economic activities as the development of tourism and export of labour.
By a vote of 38 in favour to 1 against (United States), with three abstentions (Congo, Lebanon, Norway), the Commission approved and submitted to the Economic and Social Council a resolution on Palestinian women.
The text reaffirms that the Israeli occupation remains a major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self- reliance and integration in the development planning of their society.
In a closing statement, the Commission Chairperson, Sharon Brennen- Haylock of the Bahamas, said the agreed conclusions would play an important role in the future work of the General Assembly, particularly on gender perspective.
The Commission on the Status of Women, which commemorated its fiftieth anniversary at the recently concluded session, is the only intergovernmental body devoted to woman's advancement.
Developing countries may be well advised in taking a pragmatic, rather than ideological, approach to capital-account regulation and liberalisation in order to avoid counterproductive effects on exchange rates, the current- account balance and the domestic financial system, according to the findings of a series of research papers prepared for the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-four (G-24).
The papers were recently published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in preparation for the IMF/World Bank meetings to be held in Washington D.C., from 28 to 29 April.
The publication states that a complete opening up of the capital account carries very significant risks for macroeconomic stability in developing countries.
It argues that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should not require all its members to introduce full convertibility to the capital account, but should take an active role in international capital market surveillance and the provision of liquidity where necessary.
According to the publication there has been a surge of private capital flows to developing countries, during the first half of the 1990s, mainly in Asia and Latin America, but also to some countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Such flows were partly attracted by factors unrelated to economic fundamentals and often contribute little to investment and growth. At the same time they can lead to currency appreciations, create serious conflicts with monetary policy objectives and increase the fragility of the domestic financial system, the publication notes.
The papers included in the new volume, like those in the seven volumes already published since 1992, were prepared for the G-24 as part of an UNCTAD research project coordinated by professor Gerry Helleiner.
The Special Rapporteur on human rights in Zaire, Roberto Garreton has begun a mission to the east of the country to investigate the numerous allegations of human rights abuses and of violations of international humanitarian law in areas occupied by the Alliance des forces democratiques pour la liberation du Congo-Zaire (AFDL).
Mr. Garreton will spend nearly a week in eastern Zaire gathering information and evidence on reported abuses. The visit will allow him to make relevant recommendations on required action to the Commission on Human Rights, meeting in Geneva until 18 April.
The Assembly of the International Seabed Authority, meeting at Kingston, Jamaica has agreed to defer, until August, discussions on a draft protocol on the legal privileges and immunities of the Authority. The decision followed extensive consultations held since Monday, 17 March.
Outlining the reasons for the deferment, the President of the Assembly, S. Amos Wako of Kenya said that there were differing views on the need for a protocol, arising from what some delegates saw as the duplication in that document of some provisions already addressed in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Earlier, the Council of the International Seabed Authority, meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, decided to recommend to the Authority's Assembly that it approve a relationship agreement between the Authority and the United Nations. Under the agreement, the United Nations recognises the Authority as an autonomous international organisation through which States parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea would organise and control activities in the seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.
The Council also began discussing another agreement, reached in negotiations between the Government of Jamaica and the Authority, concerning the Authority's headquarters in Jamaica. Following an exchange of views, the Council agreed that informal discussions would take place early next week on some issues raised by India, the Russian Federation, Tunisia and the United Kingdom.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and two United States based institutions, the Smithsonian Institution and Columbia University have agreed to collaborate in research, training and outreach activities to encourage economic development consistent with preserving the environment and bio-diversity. An important component of this collaborative work will be to develop projects involving North-South environmental and economic policies, UNESCO said in a statement.
The collaboration brings together the Smithsonian's expertise in the biological sciences, Columbia University's strengths in the social sciences and UNESCO's practical expertise gained from its Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme's global network of more than 300 biospheres reserves, according to Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, Adviser to the Smithsonian on bio-diversity and environmental affairs.
For information purposes only - - not an official record
From the United Nations home page at <http://www.un.org> - email: email@example.com
United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article