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. 2, Summer

All Too Human: Is There Room for Compassion and Conscience in International Relations?
A few years back, a survey by a group at the University of Maryland found that three quarters of Americans felt the United States was spending "too much" on aid to the third world. Sixty-four per cent of those questioned wanted foreign assistance cut....
Among Other Actions between April and June, Security Council Suspends Sanctions against Libya
Libya: On 8 April, the Council noted in a presidential statement that the conditions for suspending the wide range of aerial, arms and diplomatic measures against Libya had been fulfilled as of 5 April at 1400 hours EST. It also said that the measures...
A New International Financial Architecture?
". . . the current international financial system is unable to safeguard the world economy from financial crises of high intensity and frequency and devastating real effects", reported the Task Force of the Executive Committee on Economic and Social...
As World Press Freedom Day Is Observed; Journalists: Observers and Participants
Observance of World Press Freedom Day at the United Nations on 3 May was organized by the Department of Public Information (DPI), in cooperation with The Freedom Forum - an international non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to freedom of the...
Attacks against Civilians Condemned by Security Council
The Security Council, gravely concerned at the growing civilian toll in armed conflicts, on 12 February condemned attacks or acts of violence directed at civilians, especially women, children, refugees and internally displaced persons, in violation...
Blazing a Trail
ICTR establishes important precedents In a century marked by genocide and other gross violations of human rights, the hope that impunity will be deterred by justice is gradually but surely being realized. The success achieved by the United Nations...
Educating the Girl Child: Best Foot Forward?
What does it take to get girls in school and keep them there? This is a key question, as the United Nations and its partners move towards ensuring the right of every child to a basic education. Yet, fully two thirds of the out-of-school children...
FAMILIES without Borders - I
International adoption has grown rapidly over the past decade. For a variety of reasons - related both to the growing interest in adopting children from other countries by families in so-called "receiving" countries and to socioeconomic and cultural...
FAMILIES without Borders - II
Six years ago, I was reunited with the son I relinquished for adoption in 1966. Twenty-seven years had elapsed since I last saw him as a five-day-old infant. Contrary to the conventional wisdom of the times, I never forgot him. I continued to love...
How Things Changed
It was just over 10 years ago, in December 1988, under the able chairmanship of Professor Adam Lopatka of Poland and with unique participation from the non-governmental organization (NGO) community, that the United Nations Working Group on the Convention...
Humanitarian Affairs and the United Nations: An Intern's Perspective
A spirit of humanitarianism underpins every facet of the United Nations Charter. and it is arguably in humanitarian affairs along with peacekeeping, that the United Nations has achieved its most prominent role in world affairs. As a UN intern during...
Intellectual Property and Emerging Global Issues
The thousands of companies and organizations moving online to tap into the burgeoning market of Internet users has given rise to a new brand of cyber-piracy. Known in the wired world as "cybersquatting", it is the practice of pre-emptive registration...
Internet: A Tool for Sustainable Human Development?
Who will make the most of the information revolution - the developed or the developing countries? Does the cost of communication compel countries to turn their backs on its potential? Does the freedom of the net inhibit the ability to assert...
Kosovo: A Human Tragedy; United Nations Efforts Aim to Alleviate Suffering of 800,000
The United Nations is spearheading international efforts to address a sweeping humanitarian crisis - characterized by one of the largest refugee flows in Europe in the 20th century, with nearly 800,000 men, women and children having fled their homes...
Lack of Jurisdiction Cited: World Court Says No to Yugoslavia Request
The International Court of Justice on 2 June rejected requests for the indication of provisional measures - orders to halt the use of force against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) by 10 NATO countries - Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy,...
Looking at the United Nations through the Prism of National Peace Law
In the United Nations and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), peace law is slowly emerging, just as military law emerged centuries ago. In this United Nations Decade of International Law, following the 1998 celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary...
Market Access: The Persistence of Barriers
For the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) - the only organization that represents business throughout the world-unfettered access to markets has always been a fundamental goal. There is no way that our resolute support for the free flow of goods...
Mission in East Timor Established to Conduct 'Popular Consultation' on Territory's Status
The Security Council on 11 June established the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) to organize and conduct a popular consultation to determine the Territory's future status, in keeping with the 5 May Agreement between Indonesia and Portugal,...
... Must They Remain Neutral in Conflict?
The Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, the New York University and Columbia University co-sponsored a symposium in April 1999 entitled "Journalists Covering Conflict: Norms of Conduct". It provided an opportunity for professionals from...
New UNDP Chief Says: 'Possibilities and Priorities Mismatched'
The new Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) began his four-year term on 1 July with a promise to reinvent the way the organization does business. Mr. Mark Malloch Brown, a former Vice-President of External Affairs for...
Notes from the Chair: Rescuing the Commission on Sustainable Development from the Driftwood of Deserted and Dead Debate
The Seventh Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD7), which culminated in a meeting of 60 Government Ministers in New York in April 1999, needed to make some tangible progress. It did. The Commission is a review body that was...
OPCW Confirms Destruction of Terrorist Chemical Weapons Facilities
Attacks with the highly toxic satin gas by the terrorist religious sect, Aum-Shinrikyo, in the Tokyo subway in 1995 still conjure up memories of intense panic, suffering and horror. Little, however, has been heard about the facilities in Yamanashi,...
Passing By: 'It's a Moral Responsibility. Make a Choice!'
Every jazz performer knows improvisation skills are a must! When the bandleader calls a tune - in your key or not - you make the best of it. Recently, my role as President of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council (UNSRC) Jazz Society nudged me...
Peacekeeping: Reflections from a Host Country
In the past seven years, Croatia has hosted five distinct peacekeeping operations and acquired extensive experience of the traditional and evolving role of United Nations peacekeeping operations and peace-building efforts. In time, Croatia wishes to...
Post-Conflict Programming: Feelings Fatigue?
The last decade has seen increased attention to and awareness of children's rights throughout the international system, and yet children are rarely represented during peace processes and are largely overlooked when post-conflict, peace-building agendas...
Recovering from Conflict: Does Gender Make a Difference?
Many discussions on relief to countries in armed conflict and post-conflict reconstruction have not considered gender. Among relief practitioners, the issue of gender has often been seen as a secondary priority and postponed to the development phase....
Refugee at Home
A defining feature of the post-cold-war era is the large number of persons forcibly uprooted within their own countries as a result of civil wars, policies of "ethnic cleansing', generalized violence and systematic violations of human rights. Called...
Sanctions: Don't Love Them or Hate Them, Make Them Work
Few foreign policy issues excite such passionate and disparate feelings in the United States as proposals to impose economic sanctions in order to try to influence the behaviour of other countries. The business community hates sanctions which cost...
Saving the Environment Women at the Wheel
The occurrence of what we now refer to as the "industrial revolution" was unprecedented in human history. With the compartmentalization and specialization of knowledge came exciting scientific discoveries and rapid technological advancements. The development...
Security Council Authorizes UN Presence in Kosovo War Ends after 78 Days of Bombing
The Security Council on 10 June - in welcoming the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia s (FRY) acceptance of the principles on a political solution to the Kosovo crisis, including an immediate end to violence and a rapid withdrawal of its military, police...
The Charter: Does It Fit?
Liberal internationalists have never felt comfortable questioning the relevance of the United Nations Charter. The Charter is Holy Writ; to criticize it implies a lack of commitment to international engagement and cooperation. Liberal internationalists...
The Chronicle INTERVIEW
OXFAM Great Britain, established in 1942 as The Oxford Committee for Famine Relief and now known simply by its abbreviated telegraph address, has validated its prominence over the last half century as a provider of water and sanitation in countless...
The Essence of Peace, of Stability, of Freedom
For more than a decade, Amnesty International as extensively documented and publicized its concerns about the systematic violations of human rights in Kosovo. The failure of the international community to give adequate attention to these concerns...
The International Court of Justice: As a Partner in Preventive Diplomacy
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) plays a part in the peaceful settlement of international disputes, in furtherance of the first purpose of the United Nations: "to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice...
The Kosovo Tragedy: Looking into the Face of Human Suffering
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 19 and 20 May visited refugee camps in Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where he, in his own words, spent "two heart-rending days" with the victims of Kosovo, who by the end of May numbered nearly...
'The Tribute of Power to Reason' the Lessons from Nuremberg
Nuremberg strongly extended the reach of international law for individuals as to their obligations and their rights. In terms of responsibility, it eliminated the defence of both sovereign immunity for top-drawer officials and the defence of superior...
Thinking Aloud: Is NPT's Assumption of a Finite Number of Nuclear-Weapon States Realistic?
There was a blinding flash of light . . . The short answer to the question is: Most likely not. Few, if anything in human life, are "definitive" or "finite", and they are even less so in international politics. In other words, however we may wish...
Transnationality. Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions. Global Outflows. Global Inflows: The Foreign Direct Investment Network
Worldwide foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows by transnational corporations (TNCs) rose for the seventh consecutive year in 1997, according to the World Investment Report 1998: Trends and Determinants (WIR98), published by the United nations conference...
UNREPORTED: News on the United Nations System at Work
"PIC" in Effect A late 1998 incident, in which toxic chemicals unwittingly imported from Taiwan Province of China brought fear, death and anger to the Cambodian port city of Sihanoukville, will be much easier to prevent in future under a new international...
Will Information Technology Outpace Our Capacity to Understand?
Information technology is now developing a "new economy". It begs the question: how do we educate and develop our human resources to operate in a social learning cycle that involves abstraction, diffusion, absorption and impacting of knowledge? Further,...