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. 28, No. 2, June

1990 Achievements in Space Noted by UN Committee
He holds a record of "firsts" in the annals of space history. In addition to the Apollo-Soyuz flight, he and astronaut Walter M. Schirra in 1965 completed the first rendezvous of manned spacecraft, guiding Gemini 6 to within one foot of the orbiting...
Charter Committee Drafts Declaration on UN Fact-Finding Activities
Fact-finding missions to troubled areas may soon become another powerful tool in the UN arsenal to maintain international peace and security. A declaration that defines and institutionalizes the use of such missions--not only to gather information...
Climate Convention Negotiations Face Difficulties, but 1992 Target Feasible, Chairman Says
Expectations were high as the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a framework convention on climate change began its first session at the Westfields International Conference Center in a Washington, D.C. suburb on 4 February. Most delegations...
Conference on Disarmament Concludes First Part of Annual Session
The crisis in the Persian Gulf area was a poignant reminder of "the truth that peace and stability in international relations rest on full respect for the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations", Secretary-General Javier Perez...
Discuss Plan for Comprehensive Settlement of Cambodian Conflict
Extensive discussions were held in February in Hanoi on the draft plan for a comprehensive political settlement of the Cambodian conflict. Ali Alatas of Indonesia and Edwige Avice of France, Co-Presidents of the Paris Conference on Cambodia, met...
Earth News: An Environmental Conscience
Brazil is launching a $117 million national environmental programme, initially focusing on the Amazon Basin, the Pantanal wetlands and the Atlantic forest and coastal areas, with the help of the World Bank. Its aims are to contain river pollution...
FAO Warns of African Food Shortages
Fifteen African countries faced exceptional food shortages. Several Sahelian countries were experiencing food supply problems following poor harvests in late 1990, FAO reported. Drought and civil strife in a number of nations also caused serious situations....
Hugo: A Case Study
On 16 September 1989, the most powerful hurricane of the twentieth century struck the Eastern Carribean, blowing furiously over the region's seas and terrain at speeds of over 150 miles per hour. Surprisingly, only 14 people were killed, although property...
Human Rights Commission Approves Principles to Protect Rights of Mentally Ill: Asks for Third Decade against Racism
The Commission on Human Rights, at its forty-seventh session (28 January-8 March, Geneva), covered a wide range of topics, including the rights of mentally-ill persons, environment-related issues, slavery and the sale of children. In adopting 90...
Interacting to Save Lives: 'A Cry for Help.'
One of the greatest challenges to professionals working in the field of disaster mitigation is the inevitable chaos and breakdown of communications that can occur as the world responds to a cry for help. By now, there is no more familiar sight to...
International Controls to Regulate Plastic Explosives Adopted in Montreal
An international convention that will tighten controls over plastic explosives often used in executing acts of terrorism has been adopted by the International Conference on Air Law. Representatives from 79 States and six observer-delegations attended...
International Year of Disabled Persons: Seeking Self-Reliance
Walking up a flight of stairs to a classroom, getting into the tub for a morning bath, running to catch a cab on a crowded city street at rush hour, reading a book, watching television, listening to the radio, coping with job and family stress--these...
'More Work' Needed to Amend Partial Test-Ban Treaty
The two-week Amendment Conference of the States Parties to the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and under Water--known as the partial test-ban Treaty--decided on 18 January that further work was needed before...
ONUVEH Mission in Haiti Ends with Success
The last contingent of the UN Observer Group for the Verification of the Elections in Haiti (ONUVEH) left that Caribbean country on 22 February, after the Group successfully saw the nation through its first free and democractic elections and the peaceful...
Perfecting the Science of Disaster
There is hardly a more surreal scene than that of the eerie and silent devastation wreaked by major natural disasters. Add to that the odd sight of individuals arriving with small metal suitcases and what look like large umbrellas that they quickly...
Population Conference Set for 1994; Ageing, International Migration Examined
Fifth UN population conference Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund and Secretary-General of the Conference, said preparations for the event reflected the enormous needs and challenges of the future, as well as...
Preparatory Commission Welcomes China as Fifth Pioneer Investor
The Preparatory Commission for the International Seabed Authority and for the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, at its ninth regular session (25 February-22 March, Kingston), welcomed China as the fifth nation to be approved as a pioneer...
Preparing the World for Disaster
Rejecting the fatalism of the ancients, world leaders have declared the 1990s the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. Relying on science and technology, as well as human resources, they have embarked on an ambitious disaster prevention...
Protection of Palestinians Remains a UN Concern
The protection of Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation remained a grave preoccupation of the international community, Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar told the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian...
Resolution 687: An Unprecedented Text
Terms for a formal cease-fire for the Persian Gulf war were set out in the 34 carefully-crafted paragraphs of Security Council resolution 687 (1991), adopted on 3 April, after more than a month of behind-the-scenes negotiations. On 6 April, Iraq officially...
Social Development Body Recommends Principles to Protect the Elderly
Legal protection for the rights of the elderly emerged as a key issue of the Commission for Social Development (11-21 February, Vienna). The 32-member Commission recommended that the Economic and Social Council--its parent body--transmit a resolution...
South African Steps to Dismantle Apartheid System Welcomed
Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar on 4 February said that the address of South African President F. W. de Klerk at the opening of the South African Parliament on 1 February "advances further the process of removing statutory apartheid from...
Special Missions Assess War Damage
Two high-level missions were dispatched to Kuwait and Iraq in March to investigate the consequences of the war. A UN inter-agency mission, led by Under-Secreatary-General Martin Ahtisaari, visited Iraq from 10 to 17 March and Kuwait from 23 to 27...
Talks Continue to Settle Afghan Question
Two high-level UN officials--Benon Sevan, Personal Representative of the Secretary-General in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Giandomenico Picco, Assistant for Special Assignments, Executive Office of the Secretary-General--arrived in Moscow on 10 March...
The 38th Floor: Excerpts from Statements by UN Secretary-General Javier Perez De Cuellar Made between 1 January and 31 March 1991
Excerpts from statements by UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar made between 1 January and 31 March 1991 Encouraging hope in arms limitation... In the field of arms limitation and disarmament, the agreements that have been reached...
The 'Spoils' of War: Damaged Economies ... Devastated Ecologies
The oil well fires, ranging since late February, may create a kind of global "nuclear winter", it has been stated. Others have said that "smart weapons" and "surgical strikes" would inflict relatively low-level ecological and economic pain on the...
UN Commission Proposes Action to Prohibit Violence against Women; China Offers to Host Fourth Women's Conference
Action to prohibit violence against women, ensure equal opportunities for disabled women and give priority to international protection of refugee and displaced women and children was recommended by the Commission on the Status of Women at its thirty-fifth...
UNCTAD VIII to Be Held in Colombia, Situation of LDCs Considered
"Strengthening national and international action and multilateral cooperation for a healthy, secure and equitable world economy" will be the theme of the eighth session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD VIII). The 130-member...
UNDRO: Coping with Disaster ... a Fine Line
From the moment political tensions began to escalate in the Persian Gulf area in August 1990, the phones began to ring constantly at the Office of the UN Disaster Relief Coordinator (UNDRO), which specializes in disaster-related matters. Although...
UNICEF Pushes Efforts to Cut Child Deaths, Hunger
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has made a "promise to children"--to try to end child deaths and child malnutrition on today's scale by the year 2000. The Fund estimates that a quarter of a million children die every week from common illnesses...
War in Persian Gulf Area Ends; Iraq Accepts UN Cease-Fire, Demand for Reparations, but Calls Council Resolution 'Unjust.'
The diplomatic end to the 43-day war in the Persian Gulf area came quietly at UN Headquarters in New York after Iraq delivered identical letters to the UN Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, accepting the terms of a permanent...
Western Sahara Solution Appears within Reach
Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar on 21 February assured the Special Committee on decolonization that his continued efforts towards implementation of the peace plan for Western Sahara would lead to a peaceful, fair and lasting solution to the...
World Social Situation: In Transition
The decade of the 1980s saw the social situation in many countries vary from those exhibiting "solid improvements" to some demonstrating "unprecedented reversals", to others that underwent "radical changes" in their economic and social institutions....
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