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. 4, Winter

A Confederacy of Confederations
MAKING IT LEANER AND CLEANER If the United Nations remains just a confederation of States, it may become irrelevant; if it becomes a confederacy of confederations involving global civil society, it might meet the challenges through greater legitimacy....
And Global Economic Cooperation
Imagine what the world of international commerce would be like without the United Nations system or a group of comparable organizations with universal state memberships. Imagine there were no global institutions where States could legitimize their...
Are We Underplaying the Role of the State?
Economic development, in principle, should be capable of delivering improved education, health care, access to food, water and housing, and improved personal security. In an era of globalization and economic liberalization within and between States,...
A Shared Vision on Globalization
From 10 to 14 April 2000, the 133 developing countries of the Group of 77 will hold their first Summit meeting--the largest gathering of heads of State and Government of the developing world. The historic South Summit, to be held in Havana, Cuba, aims...
Better World Campaign Builds Support, Understanding for UN Efforts
In September 1997, businessman and philanthropist R. E. (Ted) Turner made an historic gift of $1 billion in support of the United Nations and its global goals. He chose to channel his global commitment toward the United Nations because it remains the...
Can Academic Study and Research Contribute to the Conduct of International Relations?
To answer the question, a few preliminary remarks are necessary. A diplomat in a modern Chancery is no longer a self-sufficient actor, taking his cue from an abstract definition of raison d'Etat as he negotiates his way through complex security issues...
Can Genocide Be Prevented?
In seeking answers to this question, this writer has been inspired by the words of Vaclav Havel: "We must not be afraid of dreaming the impossible if we want the seemingly impossible to become a reality." The years since the Second World War have seen...
East Timor: Toward a New Nation
On 25 October 1999, the Security Council set up a United Nations authority in East Timor with a broad mandate designed to help the territory's transition to independence. Adopted by a unanimous vote, Council resolution 1272 (1999) established the United...
Fighting Isolation and Impotence
IT HAS TO DEMONSTRATE ITS STRENGTH AND LEADING POSITION IN GLOBAL MATTERS Tremendous progress has been made in reducing world poverty. People live longer, in better health and conditions, fewer children die in young age from preventable diseases,...
Forecasting the Climate of the New Century
Computer simulations are our best window into the climate of the future, but our view is obscured by uncertainties in the models based on an incomplete understanding of how the climate system works. Recent research has led to a greatly increased understanding...
Giving Victims a Voice
Justice traditionally implies prosecution and punishment of the guilty. The July 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has embodied a concept of justice that goes beyond this; it gives victims a voice--a voice not only to testify...
In Palestine, Integration, Development, Participation
As the twentieth century, with its major transformations determining events, approaches its finale, the fate of Palestine and its people will stand out as one of its more notable issues, and one with which the United Nations has been intimately associated....
In Structural and Terminal Imbalance?
WITHOUT CHANGE IN CHARACTER AND FOCUS, IT WILL BECOME INCREASINGLY IRRELEVANT The most serious challenge that the United Nations will have to deal with during the first decades of the twenty-first century is the increased imbalance between the rich...
In the Space of a Second
This year is the last in IDNDR-the International Decade for Natural Disaster reduction. In its closing months, devastating natural disasters occurred in Turkey, Greece, Taiwan and in the Central American region, including the Caribbean, as well as...
It Can't Be Done Alone
THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE UNITED NATIONS TO WORK WITH PEOPLE What does the world expect of its United Nations in the coming century? It is easy enough to offer the typical responses--universal peace, an end to global poverty, gender equity, respect...
Kosovo
Following a visit to the Balkans, Secretary-General Kofi Annan reported on 21 October that although the situation in Kosovo had greatly improved, much remained to be done to bring democracy and reconciliation to the territory. The level of violence...
Looking Back. Looking Ahead
THE UNITED NATIONS AND GLOBAL CHALLENEGES. In the pages that follow, and in the forthcoming issues of the Chronicle, eminent women and men, who have given thought to what the Organization can and should represent and achieve, share their views on...
Of Individual and International Identities: Notions of Nationalism and Nationhood
"Globalization" is what everyone seems to be talking about as one millennium yields to the next. What does this elusive, variously defined concept represent in the context of an organization whose formal membership comprises 188 States and whose effective...
Opening Up Security Council Consultations
The Member States of the United Nations have conferrred upon the Security Council the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and have agreed that the Council acts on their behalf when carrying out its duties...
Other Peacekeeping-Related Actions
Afghanistan: On 14 November, Security Council resolution 1267 (1999) went into effect, imposing limited sanctions against Afghanistan's Taliban. The Council further demanded that the parties, especially the Taliban, resume negotiations under UN auspices....
Outer Space and Internal Development
Though the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPAGE III)-the last major UN Conference this century will see-the United Nations has once again demonstrated its incomparable ability to mobilize vast...
Producing Enough Food Is Only Half the Battle
How true are the reports which claim that more than 40 per cent of food grown is lost before it is consumed, or if losses were reduced by 5 per cent, millions more people could be fed, or that food losses in some developing countries can amount to...
Project LINK
As Ambassador Fonseca suggests in the preceding article, empirical truth can be means to attaining the power to change. The year 1999 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Project LINK, a cooperative venture of more than fifty macroeconomists, many in...
Promoting Corporate Citizenship
The best managed companies in today's fast moving global economy are doing more than producing good returns for investors. They are adding new value to the communities they serve in very businesslike ways. World-class companies are those that go...
Protecting People in Times of War
Disproportion between the single battle that gave rise to humanitarian law and the all-out warfare that has since engulfed vast territories, affecting virtually entire populations, and between nineteenth-century rifles and modern nuclear weapons, as...
Secrets of the Deep
Approximately 30 years ago, Dr. Arvid Pardo, the Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations, asked the international community: To whom do the ocean floor and its subsoil belong? He opened a Pandora's box that launched a true revolution...
Setting Standards for Food Quality
"Codex" is a shorthand way of referring to the joint FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission and to its main body of work--a collection of international standards for food quality and safety that protect consumers and facilitate international trade....
The Best Time? on the End of Time?
IT WOULD BE ILLUSORY TO SAY ITS FUTURE IS IN ITS OWN HANDS The twenty-first century will either be the best time or the end of time for the United Nations. The alternatives are that stark. The imperative of an effective world Organization has...
The Chronicle INTERVIEW
Doctors without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is the world's largest independent international medical relief agency aiding victims of armed conflict, epidemics, and natural and man-made disasters, and others who lack health care due to social...
The Impact on the United Nations of Security Developments in Europe
The security relationship between the United Nations and Europe has become more entwined than ever before in the decade since the end of the cold war. What is new in Europe is the emergence of a variety of actual and potential conflict situations that...
The Public Health Paradox
Hon. Prof. Nkandu Luo, M.P. The provision of effective acceptable and affordable health services is today a challenge for developing and developed countries alike. An effective public health services delivery system must be that which carefully...
The United Nations in the Twenty-First Century Global Outreach: Empowering Village Voices
"I am the land...yellow, brown, red, tan, green, and gold...why do you abuse me...If you treat me with kindness, I will flourish...And give back in kind..." Nature Kicks Back Alice Adarkwa Dadzie, Environmental Protection Agency Accra, Ghana,...
The World Court and Nuclear Weapons: Who Is Listening?
On 8 July 1996, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), otherwise known as the World Court, delivered an historic opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. Citing international laws of war and specific treaties, a majority...
Touching Our Daily Lives
THE WORLD COMMUNITY MUST MATCH THE DEMANDS MADE WITH THE MEANS GIVEN International organizations touch our daily lives in myriad ways. They are an important means of arranging the functioning of the state-based international system more satisfactorily...
View from the Think-Tank
IF THE NEED FOR ACTION IS SO EVIDENT, At the beginning of May 1999, 27 Directors of think-tanks from around the world were invited to spend a day in New York, talking to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his senior colleagues. The...
Voices on the Eve of the Millennium
Representatives of 180 Member States, including 36 Heads of State and 19 Prime Ministers, voiced their aspirations for the next millennium and presented their views on the future of the United Nations in this last general debate of the century. The...
When Peacekeepers Themselves Are Victims
On 17 March 1998, a Bell 212 helicopter crashed in a mountainous area of Guatemala, bordering Mexico. All nine passengers were members of the United Nations Mission for the Verification of Human Rights in Guatemala; seven lost their lives. One of the...