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. 3, September-November

Africa
Secretary-General Kofi Annan's initiative to bring lasting peace, stability and development to the countries of Central Africa, several of which have been torn by decades of war, took an important step in early September 2004 with the first preparatory...
Asia
The Security Council on 17 September 2004 voted to extend the mandate of the international troop force in Afghanistan for another year and called upon countries to commit more personnel and funds so that it could work more effectively. Extending the...
Building on the Leaders Summit
On 24 June 2004, Secretary-General Kofi Annan convened the first Global Compact Leaders Summit at UN Headquarters in New York. With approximately 480 representatives in attendance, the meeting was the largest-ever gathering of chief executive officers...
Cambodia Reaches Key Target against Parasites
The Partners for Parasite Control was launched and a measurable global target was set after resolution 54.19 was endorsed by every Member State at the World Health Assembly in 2001, which urged seriously tackling schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted...
Cleaning Up the Western Indian Ocean
Environmental ministers met on 6 July 2004 in Antananarivo, Madagascar, for the Fourth Conference of the Parties to the Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region...
Combating Impunity: Transitional Justice in the Aftermath of Mass Atrocities
Sadly, recent history has given us many examples of large-scale human rights abuses. The lessons of history have also shown that, in a necessary attempt at reconciliation with the past, different societies needed to create diverse formulas to overcome...
Development Crisis: AIDS Slashes Life Expectancy in 23 African Countries
The impact of AIDS on adult mortality since 1999 has led to a decline in life expectancy at birth in 23 African countries, according to the "2004 Report on the global AIDS epidemic", published by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)....
'Development Is Not an Overnight Affair': UN High Representative Calls for Immediate Action; United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States Anwarul K. Chowdhury Tells the UN Chronicle of the Need for the Immediate Cancellation of Debts for LDCs
On the major challenges facing the least developed countries today The least developed countries (LDCs) are the poorest, weakest segment of humanity. Their problems are, in general, the same as those faced by developing countries, but they have...
Disarmament through TV: Peace Education in Albania
On 9 June 2004, Top Channel TV, the most respected television station in Albania, hosted a national debate on its popular "Top Show" programme, which dealt with issues of arms control and education for disarmament. Such a topic is relevant in the Albanian...
European Foundations Forge Critical UN Partnerships
European foundations have dramatically increased their cooperation with the United Nations in the past three years, forming a strong partnership in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In her keynote address at the 15th Annual...
Farewell to Nuclear Arms?
As we survey the contemporary international strategic landscape, the mushroom clouds on the horizon appear to be the darkest they have been in six years. The most recent disturbing news has been revelations of a series of "rogue" nuclear experiments...
First Line of Defence for Communities: Teaching about Mine Risks
When Liz Bernstein was working in the late 1980s in the refugee camps in the border region between Thailand and Cambodia, she saw that people who went out to collect firewood often returned severely injured or did not come back alive. These were the...
Global Governance as a Multilayered Process
In my book, Tests of Global Governance: Canadian Diplomacy and United Nations World Conferences (United Nations University (UNU) Press, Tokyo, 2004), I provide a detailed examination of the interface between diplomatic method and new forms of global...
Grains of Gold
Two Asian photographers have won the International Year of Rice (IYR) Global Photography Contest launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Vu Nguyen, a professional photographer from Viet Nam, and Jin Tingzheng,...
Help for All Distressed: ATD Fourth World Is at the Heart of Volunteering
"Together, knowing that we all are people, we can strengthen humanity by respecting each other", reflects Paul, a young Tanzanian from a community of very poor families who lived in abandoned ships in Dar es Salaam. Because his community could only...
Helping Afghanistan with 'My Voice and My Face': 'We Must Never Stop Reminding the World about What Is Happening'
"So you've been in Afghanistan? One doesn't hear much about it nowadays. How are things going there?" Often, when I return from some war-torn country--Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda, Chechnya, Burundi--I am asked questions like these, but to...
Helping Foster Families in Uganda
More than 2 million children in Uganda-one out of every five under the age of 18-have lost their parents to either HIV/AIDS or the civil war that ravaged their country in the 1970s and 1980s. As a result, one in four families looks after at least one...
HIV/AIDS in Africa: Shifting the Horizons of Development
For many in the developed world, the HIV/AIDS crisis has receded as an active concern. The spotlight of international attention has shifted away from the devastating effects of the epidemic on Africa to other crises. There is also a sense that the...
Illicit Diamonds: Africa's Curse
Just as the history of Arab States is intimately tied to the discovery of oil in the region, the discovery of diamonds in Africa has not only impacted the continent's history, but has been one of the leading causes of conflict. The link between...
Life in the Conflict Zone: Peacekeeping in Georgia
The United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) and its participants are hosts in the conflict zone. I will always keep in mind the words of my landlady: "On the first day, you are our guest, but very soon you will feel like a member of the...
Linked Cultures: Breaking out of the 'Disaster Management Rut'
On 16 July 2004, a school fire in Tamil Nadu killed over 93 children, with some 105 who were in the building at the time surviving. Several officials have been charged with falsifying records related to the school's construction. This event highlighted...
Middle East
On 24 August 2004, in his first visit to the country since his appointment, the top UN envoy for Iraq, Secretary-General's Special Representative Ashraf Qazi discussed the United Nations role in reconstruction and development efforts with senior officials...
Millennium Development Goals: Status 2004
Africa 840 million (Population 2002) Goals and Targets Northern sub-Saharan POVERTY Reduce extreme poverty on track high, by half...
Model United Nations: 'A World-Focused Pedagogy'
In classrooms across the globe, young people's eyes must be open to the world and its people. Without appreciating diverse cultures locally and globally, knowing more than one language or understanding multilateral institutions and their work, young...
Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones: A Step towards Nuclear Disarmament?
With tens of thousands of nuclear weapons left over from the cold war, only a small fraction of which could obliterate this planet many times over, nuclear disarmament is perhaps the most vital issue on the global security agenda. Despite the hazards...
On the Margins: The Poor in LDCs in a Global Trade Era
The "age of globalization" has brought unprecedented levels of communication, exchanged ideas and shared technologies. However, in many arenas, globalization has meant controversy and fragmentation. The debate over free trade has escalated tremendously...
Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations
In the clamour of events surrounding the UN General Assembly, one that has been receiving increasing attention is the Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations. As the United Nations reaches out to new stakeholders to help it grapple with...
Security Council Focuses on Women, Peace and Security
The participation of women is a key variable in achieving sustainable peace and security. Having recognized this principle in its resolution on women, peace and security, the Security Council, during a working roundtable meeting at the Rockefeller...
Statistical Learning Tools: Simple Circles Explain Complex Numbers
A professor of international health at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Hans Rosling recognized an ironic situation while teaching young students in Sweden about health problems in rural Africa: while research and statistical data were, expectedly,...
Striving for the Global Eradication of Poliomyelitis
When Ministers of health and representatives from the six remaining polio-endemic countries, namely Afghanistan, Egypt, India, the Niger, Nigeria and Pakistan, declared on 15 January 2004 at a high-level meeting in Geneva that poliomyelitis should...
Sudan: Tragedy in Darfur
Since March 2003, the Darfur region in Sudan--the largest country in Africa--had seen clashes between Sudanese Government forces and rebel militias from the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and was also the site...
The Caspian Sea: An Uncertain Future
The Caspian Sea, the largest inland body of water on Earth with a total surface area of 371,000 square kilometres and one of the world's smallest seas, geographically represents the intersection of Europe and Asia. This explains the uniqueness of its...
The Chronicle Interview
JEAN PING, President of the fifty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly, is Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Gabonese Republic. His distinguished 32-year career in government has been marked by diplomatic success, notably through...
The 'Grand Bargain': A Proposal for Security Council Reform
At a lunch seminar arranged by the International Peace Academy (IPA), former Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations Kishore Mahbubani stressed that the United Nations had reached a critical moment when a "grand bargain" needs to...
The Kyoto Protocol: Universal Concern for Climate Change
Scientific climate change models predict that in the next hundred years there will be a dramatic rise in the global temperature by 3.6[degrees]C. However, due to the uncertainty surrounding the measures humanity will take to tackle the change in climate,...
The New 'Old Bridge': A Story from Mostar
Built by love and destroyed by prejudice, it proudly lent its shiny and uniquely arched back to us Mostarians for centuries. To a merchant, passerby or royalty, we were all the same to it. "Stari Most", the Old Bridge with its two towers, was built...
'The Rule of Law Remains Elusive'
Today, more than ever, the world needs an effective mechanism through which to seek common solutions to common problems. That is what this Organization was created for. Let's not imagine that, if we fail to make good use of it, we will find any more...
The Secretary-General's Lecture Series: 'Who Is Afraid of Human Rights?'
On 26 May 2004, Secretary-General Kofi Annan invited delegates, UN staff and members of civil society affiliated with the United Nations to a lecture entitled "Who Is Afraid of Human Rights?", part of the Secretary-General's Lecture Series. It included...
The UN Convention against Corruption: A Milestone on the Road to Curbing Global Bribery
President Olusegan Obasanjo of Nigeria once remarked that it would be intolerable for the children of Africa to grow up in a world where they would equate politics with corruption and the theft of the public's money, rather than with service for the...
Towards a Regional World Order
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, we are witnessing a transition from the classical Westphalian world order (based upon sovereign States) to a world order where world regions and their organizations, such as the European Union, the African...
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency: A Global Progress Report
In an effort to create a higher level of awareness by politicians, the press and the public of the scale and severity of vitamin and mineral deficiency, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Micronutrient Initiative, a not-for-profit...
What Is Free Trade? Where Is Trade Free?
What is free trade? In our Economics 101 courses, we learned about the benefits of free trade. Based on Ricardo's insight regarding comparative advantage, we would be better off if we focus on what we do best and exchange things. In terms of material...