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. 37, No. 2, Summer

After the Food Emergency
The near-destruction of Kosovo's agricultural sector, once the key component of the province's economy, was a major consequence of the conflict. Rural populations were displaced, crops and machinery were either destroyed or seriously damaged, and the...
A Glance Forward
Will the Milleimium Summit be remembered as more than the largest gathering of Heads of State in history? His Excellency Sam Nujoma: The significance and importance of the Millennium Summit lies in the decisions the world leaders will take, and...
'Articulate and Affirm an Animating Vision'
The year 2000 constitutes a unique and symbolically compelling moment for Member States to articulate and affirm an animating vision for the United Nations in the new era. Accordingly, in his 1997 report entitled "Renewing the United Nations: a programme...
A Safer World and a Better Life for All
The threshold of the new millennium is also the cusp of a new era in world affairs. The business of the world has changed almost beyond recognition over the course of the last 100 years. There are many more actors today, and their patterns of interaction...
A Strong, Transnational Coalition
PREVENT UNDEMOCRATIC REGIMES ACQUIRING ARMS In the 54 years since its establishment, the United Nations has done outstanding work promoting peace, democracy and development. It has been a tireless advocate for human rights, decolonization and international...
A World Opened, A World Protected
Writing in The Financial Times a few weeks ago, Philip Knight, Chairman and Chief Executive of Nike, observed that "like many other multinationals, Nike has been criticised over a range of ... issues, including labour standards. That is why the Global...
Breaking Building Barriers?
Throughout the discussions in and around the High-Level Segment on Information Technology of the Economic and Social Council, it became clear that there is no single formula for a successful ICT programme. The United Nations, in its role as a global...
Business. Its Direct Stake in Putting Human Needs First
Most of us can agree that we need open economics and open societies. They can bring decent working conditions and raise standards of living. But how can we ensure that the global economy benefits everyone? How can we launch a compact that governs the...
Can International Human Rights Activism Be Reconciled with Agendas of National Interest?
Today's national leaders face a seemingly insurmountable dilemma. They are entrusted with the weighty responsibility of promoting the interests of their respective nations. Yet, they are acutely aware of great human suffering beyond their nations'...
Civilizing Markets
In May, Greenpeace applauded a company for logging in the Amazon rainforest. Precious Woods, the only logging operation in the Amazon certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), was recognized by Greenpeace Brazil as proving that "the logging...
Cornerstones as Stumbling Blocks
AS GLOBALIZATION AND ETHNIC CLEANSING OCCUR SIMULTANEOUSLY Regardless of its success in drawing attention to global issues involving the worst off and powerless, and its better cooperation with other institutions such as the World Bank in addressing...
Democratic Republic of the Congo
On 22 June, the Security Council called on all parties to cease hostilities throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo, cooperate with the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) and implement all provisions of the...
Dialogue
At the opening of "Geneva 2000"--the UN Special Session on Social Development--the UN Secretary-General joined Heads of the World Bank, IMF and OECD in a report "A Better World for All which prompted the following letter from the World Council of Churches...
Diamonds Are the Heart of the Matter
Africa has long been ravaged by major civil wars. Only recently has it become clear to what extent armed conflicts are fuelled by greed for a country's wealth in natural resources, rather than by political, ethnic or religious grievance. In particular,...
East Timor
Briefing the Security Council on 27 June, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for East Timor and head of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), Sergio Vieira de Mello, said he expected elections for a constituent...
Energy: 2000
Energy affects all aspects of modern life. There is a clear correlation between energy use per capita in a country and issues that we value highly, such as life expectance, literacy, as well as productivity per capita. By the end of next century, close...
Estonia's 'Tiger Leap'
Speaking of information and communication technology (ICT) in developing countries, many hope that these countries might leap-frog the stages of development. Estonia is taking tiger-leaps instead. The Estonian "Tiger Leap" is a national target programme...
Fighting for Peace
Sierra Leone, which recently captured the world's attention with pictures of crudely amputated babies and young people--the handiwork of a bewildering and murderous group of "rebels" calling themselves the Revolutionary United Front (RUF)--is now being...
Gender and Globalization
Globalization has impacted upon gender relations in complex and contradictory ways. The centralization of power within the sovereign State that has been fragmented by globalization was not predicated upon, nor necessarily supportive of, equality between...
Geneva 2000: The Next Step in Social Development
High-level government officials met in Geneva this summer the General Assembly special session on Social Development to evaluate the impact and implementation of the ten Commitments contained in a Declaration made in Copenhagen five years ago. From...
Horn of Africa
Renewed fighting between Ethiopia and Eritrea erupted in early May, displacing thousands of civilians and causing many to flee into neighbouring Sudan. The Security Council and Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 19 June welcomed the signing by Eritrea...
How Experts Would Connect the World
From 17 to 20 April 2000, 17 information technology experts from all around the world met in New York to discuss how the United Nations and the international community can support access to and parity in information and communication technology (ICT)....
Internalizing Human Rights in Corporate Business Practices
What do people around the globe consider the most important task of the United Nations in the twenty-first century? The results of the "Millennium Survey"--the world's largest-ever public opinion poll--show that the protection of human rights is the...
Kosovo
Secretary-General Kofi Annan released his latest report on 9 June, marking the first anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Kosovo was "a far better place than a year ago," the Secretary...
Mali's Centres of Information
Speaking at the High-Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council, Alpha Oumar Konare, President of Mali, said that Africans understood that information and communication technologies were a condition for freedom in the modern world. He stressed...
Microcredit: Moving Women Forward
Elvia is 25. She is a single mother in Guatemala, a country where the non-governmental organization CARE reports that approximately 20 per cent of women under 18 become unwed mothers. Elvia comes from a large, poor family (11 brothers and sisters)....
Middle East
Ending a week-long official visit to the Middle East on 23 June, Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged adherence to the "blue line"--the verified line of demarcation between Israel and Lebanon. His visit began on 16 June, immediately following his declaration...
New Technologies Spinning for an Old Cause
For widely distributing digital information, the Internet is not the sole instrument available. In developing countries particularly, people face tough challenges to get access to the World Wide Web. It is often hard in the first place to find an Internet...
Open Markets, Open Values
Based on remarks by Mr. Kofi Annan at the High-Level Meeting on the Global Compact, New York, 26 July 2000 Eighteen months ago, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, I warned international business leaders that globalization might be far more fragile...
Other Peacekeeping Related Actions
Middle East: The Security Council on 31 May unanimously extended the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) by six months, until 30 November 2000. Cyprus: The Security Council on 14 June extended the United Nations Peacekeeping...
Putting People First
A FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT IN MINDSET AND PAARADIGM Based on more than 50 years of post-Second World War international politics, what could the United Nations offer the world's people? The key expectation that the United Nations will be facing in the years,...
Reinforcing a Humanitarian Mandate
THE TIME OF ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY HAS PASSED At the beginning of the new century, the world stands as troubled as it ever was. Many problems of the last century will most probably be present in the new one as well. After the intervention in Kosovo...
Secretary-General Replies to World Council of Churches
Following is the response of Secretary-General Kofi Annan sent to Rev. Konrad Raiser on 3 July. Dear Mr. Raiser, Thank you for your letter of 28 June 2000, which has been forwarded to me while on official travel. Because of the seriousness of...
Should ECOSOC Be Reformed?
The United Nations has a clear mandate and responsibility to play a major role in international economic cooperation, especially through its Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) system. Yet from its earliest years, the Council has largely failed to...
Sustaining the Single Global Economic Space
History does not repeat itself; only historians do. But there is still great merit in Santayana's dictum that those who refuse to learn from the past may be condemned to repeat its errors. That is certainly true about globalization and its consequences....
Tenth Crime Congress Tackles Cyber-Sabotage
Hacking into unauthorized sites with the help of sophisticated techniques to mimic passwords or bypass other security measures has become a popular cyber offence. So popular, in fact, that it has become the basis of movie megahits and a source of counter-culture...
The Changing Causes and Character of Food Emergencies
There are indications that the number of undernourished people in developing countries is declining. However, in 1999, a total of 35 countries worldwide faced food emergencies; by the end of the year, the number of people facing food shortages of varying...
The End of East-West Division but Not the End of History
For five and a half decades, the United Nations has served the international community as a major, indeed the principal, guarantor of world order. Two factors were essential in allowing the United Nations to fulfil this mission. Firstly, it was the...
The Triple Bottom Line Economic, Social, Natural Capital
A quiet revolution is in the making. The business sector is realizing that the goals of the United Nations are essential prerequisites in achieving its own goals of wealth creation and prosperity. The international community, meanwhile, is increasingly...
The United Nations Compensation Commission
As the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) closed its books at the end of the millennium, it had succeeded in making payments totalling nearly $5 billion to approximately 1.5 million claimants. The Commission also commenced making the first...
The World Wants Guidance
SAFETY ON THE GLOBE, IN THE ATMOSPHERE, IN SPACE The people of the world want to have faith in the United Nations and its original Charter, as well as its adopted declarations. Human rights, children's rights and environmental safety measures should...
They Now Have to Return
More than 200,000 Kosovars are still to be repatriated from host countries, mostly from Germany and Switzerland. They are arriving in Kosovo in hundreds on a daily basis, but not all of them want to go home voluntarily. Some would like to avoid, or...
Third Act of the Nuclear Era
Some 20 years ago, I drafted two resolutions regarding the nuclear arms race which were accepted by the United Nations disarmament agency for the special sessions on disarmament in 1978 and 1982. A total of 51 Nobel Laureates endorsed these resolutions....
This Did Not Work in Seattle
IT WILL WORK LESS AND LESS IN FUTURE The United Nations is the world's most prominent conscience and catalyst concerning economic and social development. Such development will, to a large degree, determine how the global community succeeds in bridging...
Towards Gender Equality Beijing+5
The floors at the United Nations in New York were humming with activity: people from every continent buzzing around, following their paths from one conference room to another, dropping by at presentation stands, eavesdropping on conversations in a...
UN Day at Chestnut Hill
Commemorating United Nations Day (24 October) in 1999, several hundred high school students in Philadelphia received a firsthand look at how their world would be in 40 or so years at Chestnut Hill College (CHC), Pennsylvania, United States. Jean Smith,...
UN High-Level Segment Targets Digital Divide
"Building bridges" is a metaphor often used to describe activities of the United Nations system. The most recent construction process aims to overcome the digital divide between developing and developed countries. At the same time, it seeks to appropriate...
Unwiring the Internet in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has long been known for its coffee, and indeed roasted beans are the single biggest export of this mountainous country in Central America. But something new is also brewing: the Internet is taking hold. Strong political actors have played...
WIPO A New Act for the Protection of Industrial Drawings and Designs
Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations Office at Geneva and President of the 1999 Diplomatic Conference [*] A work of the mind, an artistic creation is not only expressed in works of art. It also applies to industrial design, which...
WIPO Declares WWF the Winner, but Sting Stung
Pop singer Sting, a.k.a. Gordon Sumner, of the United Kingdom has lost his case to deny Michael Urvan of the United States the Internet address "sting.com". In a 27 July decision, an arbitration panel of the World Intellectual Property Organization...
World Wide Women
Catchy phrases describe a situation newly prominent in the computer age: the "digital divide" or the "gender gap", for example. But coining alliterative composites does not by itself alleviate the problems. As women's groups now increasingly make their...

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