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. 41, No. 4, December

A Global Bargain: Introducing the Norwegian MDG 8 Report
Globalization is a fact of life. We see it around us every day--in what we eat, in what we wear, in the work we do. We can communicate around the world in an instant--by cellphone, by e-mail. The Internet gives us access to more information than we...
A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility; High-Level Panel Presents New Vision of Collective Security
The High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change on 2 December 2004 released its report, A more secure world: Our shared responsibility, which presents a comprehensive vision of collective security for this century. It states that "the central...
'A World Enabled': Fighting for the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities
More than 600 million persons, almost 10 per cent of the world's population, have a disability. This number will rise dramatically in the coming years as the population ages and more people become disabled by HIV/AIDS. For this reason, United Nations...
Building Democracy with UN Assistance: From Namibia to Iraq; Has the United Nations Found the Right Formula for Promoting Democracy?
The ideal of democratic governance underpins much of the contemporary work of the United Nations. The founding of the Organization was, in addition to being an alliance against aggression, premised upon the belief that stable, peaceful conditions within...
Capital Punishment: Where the World Stands
Many cultures throughout the ages have used capital punishment for grave offences, ranging from theft to murder. But today, only 78 countries and territories have retained the right to use the death penalty. In 2003, according to Amnesty International...
Combating Islamophobia Depends on Unlearning Intolerance
When a new word enters the language, it is often the result of a scientific advance or a diverting fad. But when the world is compelled to coin a new term to take account of increasingly widespread bigotry, that is a sad and troubling development....
Combating Terrorism While Protecting Human Rights
The United Nations unequivocally condemns terrorism in all its forms as a violation of human rights. However, finding a rights-based approach to fighting it has been less obvious. The anti-terrorism debate hinges on finding the right balance between...
Confronting Islamophobia
The "Unlearning Intolerance" seminar series resumed on 7 December 2004 at UN Headquarters in New York. The groundbreaking series, organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI), aims to raise awareness by examining manifestations...
Education through Film: Showing the Relevance of the UN
I have been dumbfounded over the last two years at how many times people have come up to me announcing that the United Nations has become irrelevant. Knowing that I teach and write about the UN, they have sought me out specifically to make this claim....
Genocide Survivors Still Face an Uncertain Future
Tens years after the Rwandan genocide in which as many as 800,000 people lost their lives, survivors of the massacre face an uncertain future due to insufficient foreign aid and a lack of judicial redress. Several aid programmes in Rwanda are struggling...
Giant Peace Doves
On our backcover is a collage of paper doves decorated with messages of peace. A group of about sixty people--the majority children--gathered in a local park in Murrindindi, Australia, to fly "Giant Peace Doves" (see photo), plant indigenous trees...
Globalization and Development: Enabling Fairer Access to the World Economy
Although technological advancement and increased economic interdependence are great advantages of globalization, a large part of the world population does not have access to these benefits. To encourage discussion of this shortcoming, the fifty-ninth...
Honouring the Sacrifice of Canadian Peacekeepers
An often movingly poignant ceremony honouring 119 Canadian troops killed while on United Nations peacekeeping missions was staged in early August 2004 in the new Peacekeepers' Park in Calgary, Canada. Rick Wright, a former signals captain who served...
Interview with ... Jacques Attali
Jacques Attali is founder and President of PlaNet Finance, an international non-profit organization that uses the Internet to promote socioeconomic development, provide micro-financing and educate people worldwide about the role of micro-lending in...
Kenya's Lone Crusader Wins Nobel Peace Prize
There are many firsts in Wangari Maathai's life. In 1971, she was among the first women in East Africa to obtain a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy degree). Five years later, she became the first woman in the region to chair a university department. In the...
Learning for Our Future World: Scouting and Education on the Environment
As the world enters the first decade of the twenty-first century, the environmental problems facing mankind have moved to centre stage. It is true that the awareness of protecting the environment, and not threatening the survival of future generations...
Muslims against Anti-Semitism: Ways to Promote Common Values
The situation in our societies is becoming more and more difficult insofar as the increasing public expression of anti-Semitism and racism. We all know--Governments, official institutions, as well as citizens--that if we remain passive, the situation...
'No One Is above the Law': The 59th General Assembly High-Level Debate
The United Nations fifty-ninth General Assembly opened its annual high-level debate with calls from its President, Foreign Minister Jean Ping of Gabon, for urgent and effective action to meet global threats and challenges, ranging from war and terrorism...
'Nothing about Us without Us': Recognizing the Rights of People with Disabilities
Some 10 per cent of the global population is disabled as a result of mental, physical or sensory impairment, with approximately 80 per cent living in developing countries. The global disabled population is increasing, according to the World Health...
Racism and Xenophobia in Europe Stemming the Rising Tide
For over two decades, Europe has seen a rising tide of racism and xenophobia threatening to engulf its politics. Increasingly since 9/11, this has become particularized in the form of Islamophobia, coupled with an ideological anti-Semitism propagated...
Seeing the Spiritual Behind the Material: Traditional Indian Art at the Asia Society
The Asia Society on Manhattan's Upper East Side in New York City, in close proximity to UN Headquarters, launched two glittering shows devoted to the arts of India. In the Realm of Gods and Kings and When Gold Blossoms opened simultaneously in the...
Sovereignty as Duty to Protect Human Rights
Two major values in international law--an old one, respect for state sovereignty, and a more recent one, respect for human rights--were integrated with the adoption of the UN Charter. But their coexistence has not been easy; the two principles more...
Studying the Millennium Development Goals: A Resource for University Education
The work of Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen, such as Development as Freedom, suggests that studying development offers a fertile ground for investigation and training. The beauty of the whole idea is that this possibility transcends traditional...
The Bam Earthquake: The Tragedy of a Cultural Treasure 'Depicted in the Faces of People'
At 5:27 a.m. on 26 December 2003, an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale struck southeast Iran. At its epicentre was the historic city of Bam, whose historical, social and cultural character and the area's population were dramatically affected....
The Brain Drain: Challenges and Opportunities for Development
Governments and international actors increasingly need an innovative approach to the increased rate in migration of skilled workers, known as "brain drain". In 1990, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development listed 13 million skilled...
The Chronicle Interview
IRENE ZUBAIDA KHAN joined Amnesty International as its Secretary General in its 40th anniversary year, as it began a process of renewal to address the complex nature of contemporary human rights violations. As the first woman, first Asian and first...
The MINUGUA Transition Process: Ensuring Progress on Guatemala's Road to Peace
With the signing in December 1996 of the Peace Accords, Guatemala embarked on the path of social and political transformation after 36 years of internal conflict. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA)...
The New Anti-Semitism: Graffiti on the Walls of History
Winston Churchill was premature in his declaration that "all the isms are wasms". In the twentieth century, fascism came and went, communism came and went, socialism came and waned. But today, several "isms" of extraordinary virulence still inhabit...
The Right to Participate, with Rights to Win: The International Paralympic Games
On 17 September 2004 in Athens, Greece, 3,837 athletes from 136 nations were present to participate in the opening ceremonies of the XII Paralympic Games. As the second largest worldwide sporting event, the Paralympics provide Olympic-level sporting...
The United Nations in an Age of Globalization: Adapting to a Widening Spectrum of Threats
The year 2005 will mark the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations. This event undoubtedly will promote discussions on the Organization's role in the twenty-first century and in an era of globalization, its role is changing. The widening spectrum...
'The UN Matters, but It Should Do More': A Conversation with Journalists from Bangladesh
Let me begin with a confession. The idea of meeting in a trendy, if slightly pricy, mid-Manhattan restaurant was mine; it was only a stone's throw away from UN Headquarters, but more important it touts having as its culinary guru Madhur Jeffrey, a...
Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: Instruments for Ending Impunity and Building Lasting Peace
The past two decades have been a period of intense political change across the world. Dictatorial governments fell, through either military victory or a transition to democratic government, and civil wars ended in many countries across South America,...
UN Messengers of Peace Reflect on Their Work
The United Nations observes the International Day of Peace annually on 21 September at UN Headquarters in New York with the ringing of the Peace Bell, cast from coins collected by children from 60 countries and presented in 1954 to the world Organization...
UN Permanent Missions Partner with DePaul
Within the past few months, more than two dozen Permanent Missions to the United Nations have posted new websites to communicate their messages to varied audiences around the world. Through these websites, officials in their home capitals are accessing...
UN Radio and Peacekeeping Missions: Providing a Bridge from War to Peace
The 1945 Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization highlights that "since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed". Wars are fuelled by the...
Women, Democracy and Islam: A Nobel Laureate's Views on Human Rights
"I am here not as a representative of any government nor any political party, but as a defendant and a lawyer of human rights, defending the people who have devoted their life to human rights", 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi said as she...
Working Together for a New Era of Agriculture
What are "non-food crops"? They are an alternative to traditional food production, grown for use in industry, chemicals (plastic, paint), industrial fibres (paper and textile), pharmaceuticals, personal-care products and biofuels. Non-food crops are...
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