UN Chronicle

A news reference publication published by the United Nations. Reports on UN actions and events as it addresses world issues.

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 1, Spring

And Harnessing This 'Rather Mysterious Natural Resource.'
A study by the International Water Management Institute indicates that by the year 2025 about one third of the population of developing countries - some 1.3 billion people - will live in areas of chronic water scarcity. This means that even if they...
Assembly Considers Measures to Stop International Terrorism
Measures to eliminate international terrorism highlighted the work of the General Assembly's Sixth Committee (Legal) which almost finalized a draft convention for the suppression of nuclear terrorism and initiated work on a convention to stop terrorist...
Assessing Progress in Fulfilling Commitments
The General Assembly is finalizing plans for a Millennium Summit, which will likely take place during the Millennium General Assembly in October or November of the year 2000. The Summit will "provide guidance to the United Nations for meeting the challenges...
A Year-Old 'Group of Interested States' Takes Stock of Successes and Plans New Projects
The concept of "practical disarmament", which was first introduced by former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in his "Agenda for Peace", has been given increased attention by Member States, the international community in general,...
Burundi: What Sanctions Meant on the Ground
In reaction to the coup d'etat led by Pierre Buyoya on 25 July 1996, seven countries - Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zaire, Ethiopia and Cameroon - imposed an economic embargo on Burundi. The sanctions had clearly stated objectives:...
Can Commodity-Based Associations Promote the Economic Development of Their Member States?
The answer to the above question is, in principle, yes. But the association has to be large enough to wield an effective market control over supply and protect prices from falling which is, after all, its primary objective. And the revenues from the...
Can Global Health Weather Global Climate?
Secretary-General G. O. P. Obasi of the World Meteorological Organization asks: Can Global Health Weather Global Climate? Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns perturb ecological processes with some beneficial but largely adverse impact on...
Danger: Iceberg Ahead
The Sea as Suitable Dump Site Human economic activity for industrial growth and development has left man's fingerprints everywhere on the coastal margin, and encroachment on territorial waters proceeds at an alarming rate. The diversity of operations...
Development Assistance: Spiritual-And Moral-Dimensions
The World Bank's Special Representative to the United Nations Understanding the role that spirituality plays in economic development is the most important challenge facing humanity today. This is because the language of development and its practice...
Disarmament: A Scientist's View
We find ourselves at the turn of the twentieth century - a century in which man has not only landed on the moon, but also made significant advances in interplanetary exploration. The era of computers and satellite communication has transformed society...
Dry Tears of the Aral
Environmental experts have rung the death knell for the Aral Sea in Central Asia. The world's fourth largest lake in 1960, the Aral Sea has already shrunk to half its former size-a result of unsustainable cotton cultivation that began less than...
Enhancing Transparency of Security Council Proceedings
Article 35 of the United Nations Charter and Rule 37 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council allow non-members of the Council to draw attention to, and participate in discussing, any issue of interest to them without the right...
Ensuring Peace Becomes the Norm
While the demise of totalitarianism might have been a logical and natural conclusion of a whole period in world history, bringing great relief to many nations which regained their independence and identity, it did not make resolution of a number of...
From the Secretary-General
For the United Nations, the challenges that lie ahead are humanity's challenges - to secure peace, to defeat poverty, to protect human rights and to widen the circle of freedom, so that no one, regardless of colour, nationality or belief, is denied...
Gains by Women Reversed in Economic Downturn
With the current economic crisis and the intensification of unemployment in the manufacturing and service sectors, Governments should not cut back social spending, but design their adjustment policies and programmes to be sensitive to women's needs,...
"In an Age of Information, the United Nations Should Appear as a Transparent Institution.'
The General Assembly on 3 December welcomed the signing on 23 October 1998 of the Wye River Memorandum between the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority. As it adopted a resolution on the subject-1 of 24 texts recommended by its Fourth Committee...
In Cameroon, a Female-Centred Organization Works to Conquer the Poverty of Rural Women
Poverty in any category is a negation of human rights. No single yardstick can be used to satisfactorily define poverty. Nevertheless, for convenience sake, poverty can be defined as absolute, relative and subjective. The concept of absolute pore...
In Fiftieth Anniversary Year, Assembly Reviews Progress on Human Rights Declaration
Human rights questions once again dominated the agenda of the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural). The negative effects of extreme poverty on the full and effective enjoyment of human rights and a declaration in support of human rights...
In Uganda, Elders Work with the UN to Safeguard Women's Health
Uganda's Sabiny Elders Association (SEA) has been awarded the 1998 United Nations Population Award for its work in combatting female circumcision among the Sabiny people in Eastern Uganda's Kapchorwa District. Established in 1992, the Association...
Japan, United States Dissociate Themselves from Adopted Budget Outline
The United Nations will begin the twenty-first century with about $2.545 billion at its disposal, according to the budget outline for 2000-2001 that was adopted by the fifty-third General Assembly. Two Member States - the United States and Japan, whose...
Let's Go for Human Testing of Vaccine, Says UNAIDS
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has expressed its support to the decision by Thailand's Ministry of Public Health to authorize large-scale human testing of an experimental AIDS vaccine, the first such trial in the developing...
Making Agenda 21 Work at the Municipal Level: The Swedish Experience
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, initiated an international effort to make agendas for the environment and development for the twenty-first century - the Agenda 21. Such processes take time...
Malaria, in Second Place, Sees Fewer Victims, but Greater Difficulty of Control
Malaria is the world's most deadly tropical parasitic disease which kills more people than any other communicable disease, except tuberculosis. Although the geographical area affected by malaria has shrunk considerably over the past 50 years, control...
Nuclear Testing, Small Arms Highlight Disarmament Agenda
The General Assembly on 4 December, in expressing grave concern and strongly deploring recent nuclear tests in South Asia, noted that the countries concerned had declared moratoriums on further testing and expressed willingness to enter into legal...
Out of dnaL: Mapping the Medical Maze
An estimated 250 million people, or 4.5 per cent of the world population, carry a potentially pathological haemoglobinopathy gene. Every year, 300,000 infants are born with major haemoglobin disorders, the most common being the thalassaemia and...
Plant Plunder, Genes and Sneakers: Can Intellectual Property Be Theft?
In numerous declarations and resolutions throughout the world in recent years, thousands of indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations, coalitions, tribal groups and community representatives have consistently expressed opposition to the growing...
Progress Can't Always Be Measured in Pipelines
'Water is not just a technical fix' Water scarcity - a situation where water demand exceeds available supplies - looms large in many parts of the world, increasing the likelihood of both conflict and poverty in these regions. The United Nations...
'Quiet Revolution' of United Nations Reform Beginning to Show Results
General Assembly Discusses Secretary-General's Annual Report Member States responded favourably to the Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization (A/53/1), which the General Assembly discussed in plenary on 5 October 1998. Thirty...
Remote Interpretation Paperless Offices
In keeping with the goals of the Secretary-General's reform measures, the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) has undertaken a thorough and wide-ranging review of its activities in order to enhance its effectiveness. As a result, the Office -...
'Spirit of Cooperation and Compromise Overcomes 'Tyranny of Budgetary Constraints.'
Horst Rutsch Looks at the Current Assembly Session The Assembly reviewed the implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s and urged the international community to substantially increase the flow of financial...
TB: The Leading Infectious Killer of Adults ... and the Single Biggest Killer of Young Women
Over 900 million women and girls are infected with tuberculosis (TB) worldwide, 1 million would have died and 2.5 million would have contracted the disease in 1998. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates they would be mainly between the ages...
The Chronicle Interview
In your campaign for election and in your address to the World Health Assembly on the day you were elected as Director-General, you presented your vision for WHO. Could you share with the UN Chronicle what that vision is? First, I have refer to...
Then I Open Up and See the Person Falling Here Is
Given all that we now know about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), it is sometimes surprising, even shocking, to note how little seems to have changed. Every year, we learn about a new population affected...
The Trees Stand ... Still
The United Nations commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of peacekeeping last year, as well as 50 years of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), its first peacekeeping mission. UNTSO headquarters is located in Jerusalem, in...
Three-Phased Approach towards Charter Amendment
Having considered the expansion and equitable representation of the Security Council, the General Assembly decided on 23 November that any reform of the Council would require a two-thirds majority vote of Assembly members. Most States agreed that...
To Deter and Dissuade, and So Deny
The establishment of a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC), which has been in the making since the end of the First World War, is one of the United Nations most significant accomplishments. Before this development, the international community,...
Totally Amazing Mind, So Understanding and So Kind.'
Dreams - or Despair? The Unheralded Crisis Mental health experts have concluded that the worldwide problems of traumatic stress and mental disorders, and their immediate and long-term consequences, present a largely silent crisis, threatening global...
'Tremors of World Financial Crisis Felt by Assembly.'
The ongoing world financial crisis was a central focus of the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) this year. International financial issues were featured in 8 of the 32 draft resolutions the Committee recommended to the General Assembly. Beginning...
Underweight, Wheezing and Infected: Whales Have Health Problems Too
Internationalism in Action: Keiko's Story He was born in Iceland, acquired a Japanese name, and has travelled to Canada, Mexico and America over the past 18 years in captivity. He is Keiko, the movie star killer whale. A generation of children,...
Who Cares? WHO Cares
What will life be like in the twenty-first century? As it looks towards the early twenty-first century, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that the world - already free of small pox - should also be free of poliomyelitis, measles and neonatal...