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. 43, No. 4, December

A New Breed of Arts Activism Takes on AIDS
POTS AND PANS CLINK, a door creaks open and shut again, and in a nearby shack a child squeals. "I'll show you around my neighbourhood", says 19-year-old Thembi as she steps outside in South Africa's Khayelitsha township. "It is a bright, beautiful...
Answers Are Never Clear-Cut
THE SOUTHERN SUDANESE BORDER has been flung into the spotlight of late, once again because of a civil war. This time its not Sudan's own war, but that of neighbouring Uganda. A new chapter in the two-decade conflict was opened on 17 September 2006...
Can the 'Electronic Revolution' Affect Children's Health?
CHILDHOOD OBESITY HAS EMERGED as a public health concern, particularly in Western societies. It is suggested that excessive screen-viewing--through television, computer, videos, electronic games, etc.-is a major factor contributing to the increased...
Children and Armed Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
IN JUNE 2004, SIX FIGHTERS FROM THE CONGOLESE RALLY FOR DEMOCRACY-GOMA gang-raped a woman in the presence of her husband and children, while another soldier raped her three-year-old daughter, according to Human Rights Watch. In June 2005, a 17-year-old...
Confronting the 'Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations'
A DECADE CAN SEEM LIKE AN ETERNITY in international politics. The world has witnessed many profound changes in the ten years that Kofi Annan led the United Nations as its Secretary-General (from 1997 to 2006). The world body may not be perfect, but...
Conversation with ... Anwarul K. Chowdhury on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
Anwarul K. Chowdhury is the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. He spoke about development aid and its effectiveness, governance, remittances,...
Conversation with ... Mohammad Khatami on the Dialogue among Civilizations
Mohammad Khatami (left), former President of Iran and distinguished member of the Alliance of Civilizations, was interviewed on 11 September 2006 by Kaveh L. Afrasiabi, founder and Director of Global Interfaith Peace. KAVEH AFRASIABI: After five...
Developing a People-Centred Approach to Urbanization in Africa
ABOUT 40 PER CENT OF AFRICA'S POPULATION currently live in towns and cities, according to the UN Population Division estimates, and over 50 per cent will do so by 2025. While the overall population growth is expected to be 2.1 per cent a year between...
'Don't Desert Drylands': They Will Take Care of You
THE UNITED NATIONS HAS DECLARED 2006 as the International Year of Deserts and Desertification, in order to raise public awareness and to protect biological diversity, including the knowledge and traditions of communities affected by desertification....
Everybody's Talking and Nobody's Listening: A Personal Reflection on the United Nations
NOW THAT I SPEND MY TIME TEACHING university students about international communication, I often reflect on my days as a speechwriter at the United Nations. I sometimes give examples from my own experiences at the Organization--how speeches are written,...
FIFA and the United Nations: Educating the Most Underprivileged through Sport
ALTHOUGH THE STRATEGIC ALLIANCE between the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the United Nations was signed in 1999, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's words on that occasion are still fully relevant: "I am very happy to announce...
FYI-Film Your Issue: A Dialogue for a New Generation
THROUGH AN INNOVATIVE AMERICAN FILM COMPETITION, members of a whole new generation are finding their voice and redefining how they see themselves. They are learning individually, as well as collectively, the difference they can make by taking a stand...
Governing Water Wisely
WATER IS EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS. It is indispensable for human survival, agricultural and industrial progress, and freedom from lethal diseases. The United Nations has flagged 2005-2015 as the International Decade for Action: Water for Life, which aims...
High Value Migrants: Talent Mobility and International Development
THE TRAVAILS AND VICISSITUDE OF THE INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION of poor people often make the headlines of the popular press. However, there is another side to the overall migration process that can be termed as the mobility of "high-value migrants". This...
Irregular Migration Flow: Dreams of a Better Life Often Travel on Illegal Networks
PEOPLE ARE ON THE MOVE, building an intricate net of global and social inter-dependencies across borders as a result of globalization. According to the UN Population Division, in 2005, 191 million people, representing 3 per cent of the world's population,...
'It Is Enough for Us to Survive, for Now'
WALKING THROUGH THE REMAINS of Balakot city, located 136 miles north of the capital of Islamabad in Pakistan, one is constantly reminded of what happened here nearly a year ago. A 7.6 magnitude earthquake ripped through this once prosperous city and...
Joining Forces to Combat Sexual Violence: The Brussels Call to Action
FOR THREE DAYS IN JUNE 2006, more than 250 dedicated women and men from some 30 countries came together at a historic symposium at Palais d'Egmont in Brussels to share experiences, strategies and a renewed commitment to end the scourge of sexual violence...
Kofi Annan: Looking Back on a 'Remarkable Decade.'
WHEN I FIRST SPOKE TO YOU from this podium, in 1997, it seemed to me that humanity faced three great challenges. One was to ensure that globalization would benefit the human race as a whole. Another was to heal the disorder of the post-cold war world,...
Migrant Children's Rights: Working to Fill the Gap
THE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE across national borders is a phenomenon increasingly relevant to global public policy. Yet, although international migration affects millions of people all over the world and has crucial repercussions on the balances in and between...
Migrants and Refugees: Why Draw a Distinction?
REFUGEES ARE "MIGRANTS" in the broadest sense of the term; yet, they continue to be a distinct category of people. As specified in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, they are outside their country of nationality and are unable...
One Life Is Worth Another: A Second Wind for the United Nations and Civil Society
IN ORDER FOR THE UNITED NATIONS to instill or revive a sense of its legitimacy among the peoples of the world, it must be guided by the very simple notion that one life is worth another--that the life of an Arab has the same value as that of an Israeli,...
Prison Is Not for Kids; Children in Conflict with the Law: What Is Done, but Rarely Told
MORE THAN 1 MILLION CHILDREN worldwide are living in detention as a result of being in a position of conflict with the law, without access to a fair judicial process or legal representation. This occurs despite numerous protective treaties and conventions,...
Proactively Embracing Volunteerism
VOLUNTEERISM CONTRIBUTES TO SUSTAINABLE CAPACITIES because it taps into and builds up the indigenous stock of knowledge, social entrepreneurship and solidarity that exists within a country. A good illustration is Pakistan, where in the wake of the...
'Promises Should Be Made for the Keeping': Excerpt from Mr. Ban Ki-Moon's Address on His Appointment as Secretary-General of the United Nations, on 13 October 2006
I STAND BEFORE YOU, DEEPLY TOUCHED and inspired by your generous words of congratulations and encouragement. With boundless gratitude for the confidence placed in me by the Member States, and with an unswerving resolve to honour that trust, I humbly...
Putting the Non-Profit Sector and Volunteering on the Economic Map
LESTER M. SALAMON is a professor at The Johns Hopkins University and Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies. As a pioneer in the empirical study of the non-profit sector in the United States and more recently throughout the...
Tender Care for Leprosy Patients
XIANG HAI AN VILLAGE, located 72 kilometres from Kunming, China, lies on top of a steep mountain hill overlooking a scenic view of the valley below. Fields of bright flowers and vegetable crops sweep across the valley amidst endless rolling hills in...
The Dominican Republic as a Pilot Project
SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN visited the Dominican Republic for the first time on 4 August 2006, at the invitation of President Leonel Fernandez, to learn about the country's progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The visit...
The Eighth Secretary-General of the UN: A Top Administrator and Disarmament Expert Takes the Helm
The General Assembly, acting on the Security Council's recommendation, adopted on 13 October 2006 a resolution formally appointing Ban Ki-moon as the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, giving him a transition period of two and a half months...
The Ethical Responsibility of Political Cartooning
THE FIFTH AND MOST RECENT CONFERENCE of the "Unlearning Intolerance" seminar series convened on 16 October 2006 at UN Headquarters in New York. Organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information in partnership with Emory University's...
The Gateway: Volunteerism and the United Nations System
IN AUGUST 2006, MILLIONS OF GIRLS AND BOYS in Afghanistan averted the deadly and crippling effects of polio, thanks to thousands of Afghan citizens who participated in a national vaccination campaign. One month later, 35 million people in 122 countries...
The Roma and Sinti during the Holocaust and Today
ROMA AND SINTI, who make up the largest minority in Europe today with some 10 million to 12 million members, share with the Jews the terrible experience of disfranchisement, persecution and systematic extermination in Nazi-occupied Europe. Half a million...
The Sixty-First General Assembly: Transcending Rifts on Development and Beyond
THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY made headlines in the fall of 2006 as it veered into pointed discussions of world power structures and Security Council reform. The general debate, a key component of the annual Assembly session, is a venue for Member...
'To Be a UNV Volunteer Is to Be in a Different Dimension'
I COME FROM A VERY LARGE, very poor family from an isolated rural area. Unlike many around me, I had the great fortune of travelling, learning and acquiring skills, and I feel a moral debt, a desire to give back and share with others my knowledge and...
'Volunteers Always Seem to Go the Extra Mile'
FOR 17 YEARS, I HAVE DEVOTED MYSELF to the practice of journalism in my home country, Chad. What motivated me to work as a UNV volunteer was to take advantage of all of this experience and share it with others to whom it could be of service. Chad has...
Waiting for a Breakthrough: Transnational NGO Builds Human Rights through Culture
TRANSNATIONAL NON-GOVERNMENTAL organizations (NGOs) are participating in a "migration of values", as different regions exchange human rights and development goals. This can bring about change in unexpected ways. Breakthrough--an international human...