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. 1, March-May

A Call to Action: The CivWorld Citizens Campaign
The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, while hardly the first acts of terrorism the world has experienced, were a wake-up call for Americans to the reality that even the powerful and the rich are vulnerable in the new world of interdependence,...
An Ethical Think-Link
In view of the increasingly perilous world context, the International Ethical, Political and Scientific Collegium is committed to responding intelligently and forcefully to the decisive challenges facing humankind. An appeal calling for the Collegium's...
Challenges and Opportunities Ahead for WMO
I sometimes challenge my interlocutors, asking whether they can name one human activity that is not in one way or other influenced by weather, climate or water. Indeed, every person and nearly all social and economic activities are affected by these...
Cities without Slums
Faeces fill up the deep ditches that pockmark the unpaved streets of numerous slum cities in the industrializing world. Some 900 million slum dwellers the world over inhale the foul air and walk through the narrow lanes whose surface is splattered...
Educating Peacekeepers about AIDS
When soldiers from Eritrea put on their uniform belts, they not only carry with them hand grenades, ammunition cases and canteens but, since 2003, also a leather pouch that holds four-pack condoms. With distribution ongoing, these pouches are now standard...
Experiencing the United Nations: The DePaul University's School for New Learning
Students, loaded down with books, photos, postcards, cameras, tape recorders and papers, poured into the classroom. Everyone was chatting and happy to see each other again. They spread out their materials on the conference table and walked around looking...
Fifth Committee: Administrative and Budgetary; Budget Reform Discussions between Issues of 'Principle and Practice'
The Fifth Committee approved $3 16 billion for the 2004-2005 budget. It's the "magic line of $3 billion", says the Chairman of the Committee. Hynek Kmonicek of the Czech Republic. "We do our best to be very, very close to it", he told the UN Chronicle,...
First Committee: Disarmament and International Security; between National Interest and Collective Security
The First Committee is an arena subject to a tug of war between two major concerns: national security and collective security. Diplomats come armed with words--commitments--that have the power to weaken a range of dangers: from atomic weapons to small...
Fourth Committee: Special Political and Decolonization; Peaceful Use of Space Technology for Agriculture and Water Management
As conflicts rage the world over the concept of peacekeeping continues to come under close attention in the Fourth Committee and figured prominently in many of the total 22 resolutions adopted on its recommendations. At the fifty-eighth General...
'Genocide Is a Threat to Peace, Requiring Strong, United Action': From Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Address to the Stockholm International Forum in Sweden on 26 January 2004
There can be no more important issue, and no more binding obligation, than the prevention of genocide Indeed, this may be considered one of the original purposes of the United Nations. The "untold sorrow" which the scourge of war had brought to mankind,...
Global Ethics in the Age of the Internet
As technology continues to progress and access to the Internet proliferates worldwide, traditional barriers, such as time and distance, have been overcome by the fluid interaction and exchange of diverse civilizations and cultures. The confluence of...
Global Partnerships in HIV/AIDS Education Influence Attitudes and Help Save Lives Worldwide
In 1989, Jonathan Mann, the first head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Programme on AIDS, addressed the World Congress of the International Federation of Free Teachers' Unions (IFFTU), one of the predecessors of Education International...
'HELLOWORLD': Global Media Art Project Encourages Communication
During the first-ever World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), a ground-breaking art installation by Swiss digital media artist and web designer Johannes Gees publicized the event by projecting laser messages on the north facade of the UN Headquarters...
How Death Comes True and People Lose Hope
I experienced disaster first-hand when Bangladesh and its Army lost 15 peacekeepers in a plane crash at Cotonou International Airport in Benin on 25 December 2003. How the 15 happened to be on that ill-fated flight is a matter of a chain of events...
'I Shall Remain an Attorney Committed to Human Rights'
Shirin Ebadi is the recipient of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, for her efforts for democracy and human rights, focussing especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children. She is the founder and leader of the Association for Support of...
Kazakhstan's Efforts to Improve United Nations 'Machinery'
As they entered the twenty-first century, the people of Kazakhstan have a right to be proud of their country's political stability and its inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony, which are its greatest accomplishments. The stability of the society...
Malaria in Africa Today
Malaria kills one child every 30 seconds and more than I million people annually in Africa. According to the Africa Malaria Report-2003, the disease continues to take its greatest toll on very young children, mostly under the age of five, and pregnant...
New or Restored Democracies Pulling the Curtain Up on Negotiations
In the early hours on a Tuesday morning in November 2003, the mood in the second-floor office of the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations was rather upbeat. After some 45 days of late evening marathon negotiations and informal diplomacy,...
New Peacekeeping Challenges Posed
A number of United Nations peace-keeping operations, especially in Africa, have confirmed their vital role. While troop numbers continue to increase, new regional arrangements are being developed that take into account the manifold conditions under...
New Priorities for Latin America and the Caribbean
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in the half century since its founding, has made significant contributions to the economic and social regional development, through interactive cooperation among Governments of the...
Partnership in Advancing Human Security
What does "human security" really mean to the work of the Security Council? How can we ensure that resolutions which consider violent conflicts from the perspective of people who are most affected by them--women, children and civilians--are implemented...
Protecting Children in Times of War: How to Develop an Effective Monitoring and Reporting System
Considerable progress had been achieved in the past few years in obtaining a framework of international norms, standards and commitments that protect the rights and well-being of children affected by armed conflict. In addition, UN agencies and other...
Revitalizing the Assembly's Work
Among the nearly 300 resolutions adopted by the fifty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly, one resolution that stands out concerns the Assembly's own effectiveness. The text seeks to open more channels of communication and cooperation...
'Road Safety Is No Accident'
With 1.26 million deaths in 2000, and an average toll of 3,000 fatalities a day, road traffic accidents are an epidemic. And while traffic deaths are going down in developed countries, they are rapidly accelerating in the developing world, particularly...
Second Committee: Economic and Financial; Big Questions with No Easy Answers
How to create more equality in a global economy where one quarter of the world's 6 billion people consume more than half of global resources, how to assist people and countries out of crippling debt so they too can benefit from the globalization of...
Sixth Committee: Legal; Consensus, Not Confrontation Sought over Controversial Issues in International Law
For the Sixth Committee, it's effectively taboo to bypass total agreement among its membership Traditionally, it strives to embrace the opinion of every member and include it within the final body of opinion. This Committee, like the Second (Economic...
Strengthening the Economic and Social Council
In January 2004, I ended my one-year term as President of the UN Economic and Social Council. It was, to my mind, a productive and stimulating year and also a learning experience. Although I had participated before in Council activities in my previous...
The Business of Schooling
The human right to education is well established, in principle if not in practice, and is described in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and elaborated in Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural...
The Chronicle Interview
Erna Witoelar has been appointed UN Special Ambassador for the Millennium Development Goals for Asia and the Pacific. She was Indonesia's Minister for Human Settlements and Regional Development and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Partnership for...
The Story of Servol: Education for the Community by the Community
Servol was born in the aftermath of the Black Power riots which rocked Trinidad and Tobago in 1970. Its founding members, acknowledging the cultural arrogance often present in people who want to do good, espoused a philosophy of attentive listening...
Third Committee: Social, Humanitarian and Cultural; International Cooperation for Social Development Continues to Grow, but Challenges Remain
The challenges of HIV/AIDS, sustainable development, human rights, organized crime and drug trafficking are not going away. These challenges formed only part of the agenda of the Third Committee. The Committee recommended 70 resolutions for adoption...
Two Young Girls, One Common Enemy: AIDS
As Christina Ann Riechers in California laced her shoes, she was filled with anticipation about how the day would go. She had worked tirelessly over the last nine months and today would be the culmination of her efforts. Her work--the first Student...
UN Chronicle
On 7 April, it will be 10 years since the beginning of the genocide in Rwanda; a decade that the world and the United Nations will have had to remember, reflect and resolve. Remember--that a world which had the capacity to end the killings that...
UNFIP: Partnerships beyond Borders
This is the first in a series of articles exploring the many facets of partnerships supported by the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP). As United Nations engagement with the private sector, foundations and civil society continues...
Unprecedented Avian Influenza Outbreak in Asia
Public health officials in several countries are alarmed by the outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry in Asia and are concerned that the situation could, if not tackled now, lead to an epidemic in humans. The first outbreak...
Why We Must Defeat HIV/AIDS
For the first time since the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) was founded more than half a century ago, a health and development issue is the theme topic for the Commission's annual session. [ILLUSTRATION...
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